Stomach bloating: Warning symptoms to spot indicating your bloat may be cancerous

Easy Ways to Live Well: Steph McGovern discusses bloating

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Stomach bloating may cause the belly to look puffy, swollen or even hard. A person may feel like they need to pass wind or go to the toilet more often than usual. Often, it can be related to eating certain foods, being under stressful times or occasionally it could signal cancer.

Persistent is the key word when it comes to warning signs of your bloating.

Most of us feel bloated from time to time, but if you feel/look bloated for three weeks or more, then you should see your doctor to rule out anything serious.

Other possible indicators include severe bloating, symptoms getting worse, or your bloating is accompanied with other symptoms.

Ovarian cancer is often known as the ‘silent’ gynae cancer, because people are unaware that it can cause symptoms, often becoming apparent until it is very advanced.

While most women with symptoms do present with advanced disease, this is not always the case.

Occasionally, symptoms can be due to an early-stage cancer.

Most of the time these symptoms which include a bloated stomach are because of a digestive issue, wrong types of food or other problems not related to ovarian cancer.

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If ovarian cancer spreads to the membrane that covers the internal organs (peritoneum), it can cause irritation and stimulate the membrane to produce excess fluid, said Moffitt Cancer

It added: “If ovarian cancer spreads to the liver or the vein that carries blood to the liver, blood pressure may rise.

“Increased pressure in the portal blood vessels may cause protein-containing fluid to leak from the surfaces of the liver and intestines and accumulate around the stomach.

“If ovarian cancer blocks the lymphatic system, lymph will not drain well and may instead begin to pool around the stomach.”

Occasionally, there might be other symptoms of ovarian cancer, such as unexplained weight loss and extreme fatigue.

Aside from urinary issues, there might be other toiletry signs of cancer.

This could include changes in bowel habits, such as diarrhoea or constipation.

Any vaginal bleeding post menopause – when there’s been 12 consecutive months without a period – needs to be investigated by a GP.

Other signs of ovarian cancer may include:

  • Quickly feeling full when eating
  • Weight loss
  • Discomfort in the pelvis area
  • Changes in bowel habits including constipation
  • A frequent need to urinate

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