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Symptoms and Signs of Ovarian Epithelial, Fallopian Tube, and Primary Peritoneal Cancer

Doctor's Notes on Ovarian Epithelial, Fallopian Tube, and Primary Peritoneal Cancer

Ovarian epithelial cancer, fallopian tube cancer, and primary peritoneal cancer occur when cells in the tissue covering the ovary or lining the fallopian tube or peritoneum start to grow abnormally. These cancers form in the same type of tissue and are treated the same way. A risk factor for developing ovarian cancer is having a first-degree relative (mother, daughter, or sister) with a history of ovarian cancer.

Ovarian, fallopian tube, or peritoneal cancers may not cause any symptoms early on. When symptoms of ovarian, fallopian tube, or peritoneal cancers occur the cancer is often advanced and they may include pain, swelling, or a feeling of pressure in the abdomen or pelvis; vaginal bleeding that is heavy or irregular, especially after menopause; vaginal discharge that is clear, white, or colored with blood; a lump in the pelvic area; and gastrointestinal problems, such as gas, bloating, or constipation.

Medical Author: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.