More than 20,000 women in the US are diagnosed each year with ovarian cancer. Despite the fact that ovarian cancer can be diagnosed early on in life, most patients are diagnosed at between the ages of 40 and 55.  This cancer is also known as the silent killer due to its subtle symptoms that can seem unrelated at first, but occur almost daily and don’t pass on their own.
However, the difference is that they will occur almost every day and not go away. The trouble is that, by the time symptoms are considered an issue, the cancer has spread and progressed too far to treat effectively.
Unfortunately, by the time patients consider their symptoms a real issue, they’ve often given the cancer time to spread and progress. According to HealthLine,  survival rates can vary from 17% to 98%, so being vigilant pays dividends. To that end, we’re sharing 12 early symptoms and signs of ovarian cancer that everyone should know about.
1. Lower Back Pain
With ovarian cancer, lower back pain that is dull is a common sign. Some women say it resembles labor pain.
2. Indigestion and Feeling Full
Another reason to check for ovarian cancer is having regular gas, heartburn, nausea, and indigestion. Likewise, a tumor can grow and cause people to feel full after only eating a small amount.
3. Abdominal Pain
Those having pain in their belly or the pelvic region that isn’t indigestion or menstruation might have ovarian cancer, especially if it lasts more than two weeks and isn’t tied to a menstrual cycle, stomach flu, or diarrhea.
Anyone experiencing bloating or pain in the pelvic area or abdomen without any dietary changes, should consult a doctor.
5. Diarrhea and Constipation
Ovarian cancer often causes alternating constipation and diarrhea due to a tumor swelling and putting pressure on the stomach.
6. Weight Loss and Loss of Appetite
Cancer wreaks havoc on the metabolism, so it’s common for a person having ovarian cancer to experience a sudden loss of appetite and significant weight loss without changing diet or exercising.
7. Urinary Frequency
Another issue that an ovarian cancer tumor might cause is urinary difficulties such as peeing often or strong and sudden urges to pee, as well as a loss of control over the bladder.
Fatigue is something we all experience from time to time and dismiss it easily as a result. However, if it’s
persistent in spite of efforts, ask a doctor for advice.
9. Shortness of Breath
Shortness of breath as it relates to ovarian cancer is, unfortunately, a symptom of metastasis due to tumors growing large and pressing against the lungs, or a build-up of fluid from cancer.
10. Vaginal Bleeding
Irregular vaginal bleeding that occurs independently of a menstrual cycle is a symptom of ovarian cancer in about 25% of patients. Other than that, look out for sudden blisters or sores, abnormal discharge, or skin color changes.
11. Irregular Menstrual Cycle
According to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America,  pain that occurs right after or before a menstrual cycle can also be a sign of ovarian cancer. Tumors on ovaries can also stop having regular periods for months.
12. Pain During Sex
Pain that happens during intercourse and which is often felt more or one side can be a sign of ovarian cancer, notes VeryWell Health. 
Patients with ovarian cancer can sometimes contract dermatomyositis, an uncommon inflammatory illness. According to the Mayo Clinic,  symptoms include a red or violet rash on knuckles, elbows, chest, back, and knees.