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IBS symptons and ovarian cancer

I would encourage any ladies (post menopause) to have a blood test (I had it done privately) every year, because so many symptons are similar. I have had IBS for many years, so ignored many small symptons which I attributed to my IBS, which I now know are bad signs for the presence of ovarian cancer. It was only because I went for a private health screening that I discovered that I had 2 or 3 indications of something more sinister. At the moment I am waiting to have an ultra sound scan and further blood tests to see whether I have cancer or not, which is very frightening, and I would not have known there was anything wrong at all until it was too late,which may still be the case. So ladies, please get it done and save yourselves the terrible worry my husband and I are going through at this moment - it could save your life!

10 Replies

oh my goodness you poor lady... i have been through a lot of tests in the past 6 months and confirmed IBS... i also have huge bloating every night, pain on either side groin backache and wondered if it was ovarian cancer. what symptoms are you having?

i had scan done but nobody seemed interested too much in the results



Hello Ally,

The fact that you have already had a scan and nothing was found sounds quite reassuring, as that is what I haven't yet had, but was told anything would show up when I have it done. The usual bloating, wind, can all be indicators, but I would suggest that you ask for a blood test to confirm there is no obvious cancer there, just for your peace of mind. It would show the level of CA125 in your blood, which is a strong indicator of ovarian cancer. This is what warned me of something that needed investigation. Another indicator for me was an increase in having to spend a penny, especially at night, which was a new problem for me. I wish you luck with your GP, but honestly wouldn't worry too much if you have been scanned.



hi pam,

thank you for your reply.

Im having a laparoscopy next to see whats going on. I think its endometriosis

i had a hysterectomy in 2011 and had signs of it then.

so much is going on inside atm, my bladder doesnt work properly either and im always constipated and then suddenly it goes to looser and baout 6 times a day... then back to constipated.

I just finished a dairy free diet for 3 weeks and now on wheat free started on monday.

i assume its wheatfree not gluten free for us ibs sufferers?

hope you get your scan soon pam and fingers crossed



Hi Ally,

I have had the results of my scan and Xray, and am delighted to find that they are clear. My second blood test had shown a drop in the CA125, but I had to have the scan to make sure. You can imagine the relief!! I am so sorry to hear of all your problems - you certainly have been through it. I tried all sorts of restrictive diets when I was first diagnosed with IBS, and I know everyone is affected by different foods. Gluten is one of the main problems as well as dairy, and I found wheat in so many items where one wouldn't expect to find it, even in fruit squashes sometimes. I now just take loperamide (which is the drug in Immodium) every day, and that seems to work for me. At present I take 3 every morning, and if I am going somewhere which may not have a loo, I take more during the day. I go carefully when ea`ting cereals, but allow myself to have the odd slice of toast when I really fancy it, and stick to soya milk most of the time. Have you had your laparoscopy yet? I hope all goes well for you.



Sorry to hear what you are going through. I had a total hysterectomy four years ago to remove a large ovarian cyst which I had no idea was there until I started to develop symptoms. I experienced some IBS and also needed to wee constantly. I also lost my appetite and developed severe heartburn from the pressure of the cyst on my internal organs. I was told initially that they would remove both ovaries, but I asked for everything to be taken as I was 60 at the time and could not see point in keeping my womb and cervix. A very useful site to visit is the Hysterectomy Association where you will find lots of ladies with similar problems. It helped me enormously through a very difficult and anxious time.


Hello lancearm 1,

Thank you so much for your response to my email. As you can see from my reply to Ally, I have been given the 'all clear' but would like to say a big thank you for the help and support at a time when I was frantic with worry. I still don't really know why I have to wee so many times at night, but at the moment it doesn't seem that important. I hope you are now well and enjoying life, and looking forward to a healthy and happy future. God bless,



I'm delighted to hear your good news! I know too well the anxiety of waiting for results - in my case I had to wait around 12 weeks before I finally got the all clear (it was a very large cyst which can sometimes turn cancerous in older women). It was a very dark time, especially as I had just retired and felt so well. You were right to point out to IBS sufferers that the symptoms for ovarian cancer, and in my case benign ovarian cysts, are very similar to IBS and I hope women take heed of your posting. My cyst had grown to 6" x 3" by the time I experienced symptoms and I had no idea it was there. I am slim and had noticed my tummy looked a bit fuller but put it down to middle age. I was so lucky that I saw a very keen young female doctor who asked to examine me and sent me for an ultrasound scan, which revealed its presence.

Re. the weeing, I have to get up in the night but recently I have discovered some wonderful suppositories to treat vaginal atrophy which has been causing me a lot of problems (very dry sore vagina which irritates the bladder as well). They are called Carlson Suppositories with natural vitamin E and if you look them up on line shop around for the cheapest supplier. I have a slight prolapse of my bladder which occurred after the hysterectomy and even with this, I am feeling so much better. I could not leave the house without needing to be near a toilet and was exhausted through poor sleep at night because of having to get up so much.

Re. IBS I have had a return of the problem which plagued me in my early 20's, except this time I suffer with excessive gas and mild constipation. For no reason I found myself getting stressed last year and I think it was the trigger for it returning. It's a vicious circle, the IBS wears me down which in turn makes me anxious! I have a feeling it's now with me forever.

Once again, I am so pleased you no longer have to worry and wish you all the best - Sharon x


Hello again pat, Lancream

It's so interesting reading other people's symptoms etc. I haven't yet had my laparoscopy still waiting... It's time to give them a nudge!

I'm so glad you have had all clear! You must be so relieved pat!

Phew! My symptoms are so perfectly matched with ovarian cancer alongside this IBS. I had already had scans about 4 months ago and was told at the time , there's

Nothing to worry about in your ovaries but it seems to

Me that it may have advanced since then? My tummy swells to the size of a 6 month preg lady, if not more usually after eating or doing too much so generally it comes

On from lunchtime , however it's not goin down very much at moment and I keep thinking gosh I'm getting fat...! I have lost all my self confidence and hide my self away from my bf as I look pregnant .

Gluten wheat free diet going ok , I find the foods so boring too sweet and then tasteless.

Once again


So happy for you pat , great news!


I know that this is a very late comment, but just in case someone consults this thread: Do not rely on Ultrasound or the CA-125. Many, many times Ultrasound will show nothing, when there is, indeed, something there. CA-125 can also be misleading. In a post-menopausal woman a mass shown by ultrasound + elevated CA-125 is a very high indicator of OvCa. However, CA-125 is very inaccurate for pre-menopausal women... & it its levels can even vary with the lab. If you feel something is not right, persist. Unfortunately, all too often insurance won't pay for fishing expeditions, which is what many women with OvCa go thru. It's chasing vague symptoms that can be symptomatic of other things, especially IBS... & if you already have IBS, it's difficult. It costs lives even when women are insistent. Moreover, due to the lack of good diagnostic tests, even when a woman has a good, persistent team of doctors it may take abdominal exploratory surgery & a biopsy for an answer. Great to know that you're cancer free, but tough to go thru surgery to find out... & it's not something insurance companies want to do.


Hi gals. I am absolutely terrified that if I tell the doctor about my fears of ovarian cancer they will laugh me away as I am only 26. I have had severe bloating and switched to a lactose free diet. I have had ibs for about 4 months after an episode of norovirus but I have started experiencing vaginal and cervix pain nearly everyday. I am worried that due to my weight ( I am 170cm and 18 stone!!!) I will be more predisposed to OC. I am driving myself crazy an I feel like this is making my IBS symptoms worse! Please help :-( xxx


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