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Two Benign Conditions That Can Lead to an Ovarian Cancer Misdiagnosis


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3/6/2011
Jeffrey H. Dover
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Unfortunately, more than half of all ovarian cancers are diagnosed after the disease has metastasized to distant areas of the body which can make treatment of the disease increasingly difficult.  Sometimes, certain conditions can cause an ovarian cancer diagnosis to be delayed:

Ovarian Cysts

Basically, an ovarian cyst is fluid which gathers within an ovary. These cysts are typically harmless and go away on their own as the fluid is absorbed into the body. However, some larger cysts can persist for months at a time and a small percentage actually turn out to be cancerous. Usually, the cyst must be surgically removed to be checked for cancer – something that many doctors and patients may view as being too aggressive an action for a condition that is generally harmless. Because so many of these cysts are benign in nature, some doctors may assume the condition will dissipate in a matter of days or weeks. However, if the cyst is cancerous, it may be left alone long enough for the cancer to develop into an advanced stage of the disease.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

With this condition, symptoms are almost identical to those caused by ovarian cancer. These include boating, frequent urination, fatigue and swelling of the abdomen. Because IBS is much more common than ovarian cancer, women experiencing symptoms of ovarian cancer are often diagnosed with IBS. If this occurs, the ovarian cancer will usually have sufficient time to develop and metastasize to other areas of the body.

Although not yet officially recommended for detecting the disease, a blood test known as the CA-125 has emerged in recent years and may be able to further identify a woman’s likelihood of having ovarian cancer. If you’re experiencing symptoms consistent with IBS and ovarian cancer, it is recommended that you speak with your doctor about the possibility that it could be cancer.


Category: Failure to Diagnose Cancer


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