Auburn University Women's Golf Coach Kim Evans didn't know about ovarian cancer. As a healthy, active woman, Kim never thought for a moment that her vague symptoms — bloating, loss of appetite and sluggishness — could be attributed to Stage 2 ovarian cancer. But they were, and by the time she got to the doctor for treatment, she was in a fight for her life.

According to the American Cancer Society, ovarian cancer accounts for only about 3 percent of cancers among women, but it causes more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system. That's because it's rarely diagnosed until it's in the late stages, having spread within the pelvis and abdomen. At this point, the cancer is difficult to treat and is often fatal.

Early-stage ovarian cancer, in which the disease is confined to the ovary, is more likely to be treated successfully with surgery and chemotherapy. But the problem is that the symptoms of early-stage ovarian cancer are so vague that many women dismiss them as signs of getting older. The typical symptoms of the disease include:

  • Bloating
  • Pelvic pain
  • Indigestion
  • Constipation
  • Increased frequency of urination
  • Lower back pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Lack of energy
If you experience every single symptom, you might think something is up. But if you experience just a handful of these — as most women do in the earliest stages — you're more likely to laugh them off as irritating signs of advancing age.

This video from the Norma Livingston Ovarian Cancer Foundation aims to spread the word about ovarian cancer so that women will recognize the symptoms and pay more attention if they experience them.

So check out the video above. Share it. And make sure you know — and all women know — about ovarian cancer and how you can detect it in its most treatable stages.

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