Abdominal bloating is the feeling of tightness and fullness in the abdomen, which may be distended or appear swollen. This is normal for an individual who is healthy when they consume particularly gassy foods or when on their menstrual period. However, ovarian cancer is a malignancy that produces persistent abdominal bloating. One of the most common symptoms to occur with abdominal bloating in an ovarian cancer patient is weight loss.
The bloating that occurs because of ovarian cancer is the result of a condition referred to as ascites, which is when too much fluid builds up in the abdomen. When malignant cells spread to the peritoneum or abdominal lining, fluid can accumulate. Ascites can also occur when cancer spreads to lymph nodes in the area and impairs their ability to remove extra fluids from the tissues.