The symptoms of ovarian cancer can seem odd, random, and attributable to other things – especially when a person is 30 years younger than the age at which ovarian cancer is normally diagnosed.
Alyssa Salazar was in her early 20s, but discovered she had Stage 4 ovarian cancer after she experienced things like a distended abdomen and feeling full after one bite of food.
Three years and 16 surgeries later, Ms. Salazar is going strong with chemotherapy and a powerful positive attitude.
“You have to keep pushing and keep going no matter what odds are against you,” she said.
Dr. Georgia McCann, a University Health System gynecologic oncologist and assistant professor at the UT Health Science Center, said usually ovarian cancer is diagnosed in post-menopausal women between the ages of 55 and 75. One reason it is so deadly is that there’s no approved medical screening for it.
Symptoms can include bloating, frequent urination, feeling full and constipation. While those can also be symptoms of other problems, Dr. McCann said, “if a symptom is related to cancer … it will progress over time and continue to get worse.”