Symptoms of last stage of ovarian cancer

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
May 27, 2015
Quick Bites

  • Pain is the most common symptom.
  • Anorexia and vomiting can occur.
  • Problems with digestive system can happen.
  • Change in frequency of urination can take place.

Ovarian cancer becomes difficult to treat once the cancer  spreads. In majority of the cases, abnormal cells metastasize into the organs or tissues of the abdomen and the pelvic region. They might even spread to the lymph nodes or the blood. Symptoms of the last stage of Ovarian Cancer are many and painful.

Symptoms of the last stage of Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian Cancer Symptoms


Of all the symptoms of the last stage of ovarian cancer, pain is most common. Pain may spread from the pelvic region to lower back and abdomen. It is a fairly persistent pain, ranging in intensity. If the cancer spreads to the bone, one might experience severe bone pain. Brain metastases cause headaches and seizures.


When the ovarian cancer spreads to the cells lining the inside of the abdominal cavity, it results in the build-up of fluid in the abdominal cavity. This fluid exerts pressure on the abdominal organs and diaphragm resulting in symptoms such as pain, anorexia, vomiting and breathlessness.

Digestive issues

The symptoms of last stage of ovarian cancer include a slew of digestive problems. Since a woman’s reproductive system is in close proximity to her digestive tract, the carcinogenic cells may affect the overall functioning of the stomach and intestine, leading to nausea, indigestion and vomiting.

Gastrointestinal obstruction

Sometimes, the cancer cells may form surface adhesions which bind together loops of the intestine. Sometimes, complete intestinal obstruction occurs wherein food and fluid cannot pass. This leads to constipation, distension, and severe abdominal pain. However, some women suffer from loose, watery stools as the colon contracts more frequently than normal, leading to passing stool at a faster rate.

Ovarian Cancer Symptoms

Urinary changes

Usually there is an increase in frequency and urgency of urination. Any pressure from a nearby tumour or any cancerous cells can affect the normal functioning of the bladder.

Menstrual changes

End stage ovarian cancer can lead to changes in the menstrual cycle. This can range from irregular or missed periods to longer and heavier flows.


Exhaustion and fatigue are very clear symptoms of the last stage of ovarian cancer. These are very chronic and don’t improve after periods of rest.

Loss of weight and flatulence

Usually, ovarian cancers are diagnosed when the symptoms manifest themselves and the cancer hasspread to other organs such as the liver, lungs and the organs outside the abdomen. If there is a daily feeling of fullness, accompanied by unusual abdominal pain and loss of appetite, one must seek immediate medical help.If the cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, treatment by surgery or chemotherapy is possible.

Image source: Getty Images

Read more articles on Ovarian Cancer Signs and Symptoms.


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