Ambareen Khan, Khusro Sultana.
Presenting signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer at a tertiary care hospital.
J Pak Med Assoc Jan ;60(4):260-2.

Objective: To identify early warning signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer to create awareness for early diagnosis and management of the disease. Methods: This study was conducted at the department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Liaquat National Hospital, Karachi from 2003 to 2007, having 75 patients. The information collected included age, education, and self perceived state of socio-economic class, presenting clinical signs and symptoms, basic and specific laboratory investigations. The disease was staged from I to IV upon surgical staging and the type of cancer was determined by histopathological examination. Results: Mean age of the patients was 51 ± 12.3 years. Twenty (52%) patients were uneducated, 17 (22.6%) were below and remaining 19 (25.3%) were above higher secondary level. Most of the patients belonged to the middle socioeconomic class. Abdominal pain (57.3%) was the most common presenting symptom followed by abdominal distension (22.6%), urinary complaints (5.3%), vaginal discharge (2.6%) and postmenopausal bleeding (12%). More than half (56%) of the patients had stage III-IV disease. On histology, papillary serous cystic adenocarcinoma was the most common (54%) type followed by mucinious (22%), endometroid (10.6%), yolk sac (2.6%), dysgerminoma (4%), and adult granulose cell tumour (5.3%). Conclusion: There are no specific ovarian carcinoma symptoms either in early or late stages to ensure early diagnosis, but in the age group above 40 years persistent clinical symptoms should always be further investigated (JPMA 60:260; 2010).

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