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  • Writer's pictureWomen's Cancer Research Foundation

Bloating and Ovarian Cancer

Abdominal bloating is characterized by an uncomfortable feeling of tightness or distention, often accompanied by pain or flatulence. There are several factors that contribute to bloating, namely eating select foods (e.g., beans, broccoli and cabbage), drinking carbonated beverages and harboring an intolerance to gluten or lactose. Numerous medications can also cause bloating, such as aspirin, corticosteroids and opioids; also, chronic diseases (irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease) can impact your predisposition to bloating. Alternatively, bloating can be a vague symptom, and potentially a sign of ovarian cancer. Many women with ovarian cancer have reported that they experienced severe bloating prior to their diagnosis, especially in advanced ovarian cancer, which is associated with ascites (the presence of excess fluid in the abdominal cavity). If you are experiencing persistent bloating (greater than 12 months) for which there is no obvious explanation or the condition becomes more severe, you should consider scheduling a clinical evaluation with your general practitioner.

About Women’s Cancer Research Foundation The Women’s Cancer Research Foundation (WCRF) is one of Southern California’s and the nation’s most active research organizations for female cancers. We are dedicated to serving the interests of patients, families, and friends affected by women’s cancers. WCRF partners with physician-scientists nationally to make differences in women’s lives by offering hope, strength, and progress.

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