Tara Parker-Pope at the New York Times has an article on how to detect ovarian cancer early.
Ovarian cancer is usually detected in its late stages, when it is the least treatable. Early signs of ovarian cancer exist, but are very common and easily mistaken for other problem. For example, difficulty eating, or increased abdominal size, or feeling full after eating very little can all be signs of ovarian cancer–or of other, less serious ailments.
A new study, described in the article, finds that six key symptoms combined with a blood test can increase early detection of ovarian cancer by 20 percent. Those six symptoms are pelvic pain, abdominal pain, bloating, increased abdominal size, difficulty eating and feeling full quickly. The lead author of the study points out that any new and frequent occurrence of these symptoms may be reason for further testing.