Detecting ovarian cancer before it kills

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The American Cancer Society and a group of cancer experts have identified a set of warning signs that may be symptoms of ovarian cancer. Symptoms of ovarian cancer are often overlooked until it's too late.

These symptoms include bloating, abdominal pain, feeling full quickly when eating and feeling a frequent or urgent need to urinate.

ABC News medical editor Dr. Tim Johnson advised that a woman who has had any of the symptoms nearly every day for more than two or three weeks should see a doctor.

"If you have all those symptoms together and they're new, that's another big clue," he said. "If they're new symptoms and they're persistent, absolutely talk to your doctor."

Johnson said news of the symptoms would likely help doctors catch ovarian cancer faster and help more women diagnosed with the disease survive.

"If you catch it before it spreads when it's still contained in the ovaries 93 percent of patients have a five-year survival rate," he said.

For those diagnosed with ovarian cancer, surgery may not be necessary, according to Johnson.

"You would have a rectal exam and ultrasound to decide whether you need further exploratory surgery," he said.

Johnson said women should consider news of the symptoms a heads-up. If the symptoms are new and persistent, neither women nor their doctor should dismiss them.

"That happens all too often," he said of doctors dismissing symptoms. "More than a third of the time."

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