Focus on ovarian cancer

March was Ovarian Cancer month. The disease is responsible for some 4,300 deaths every year in the UK, making survival rates here among the worst in Europe.


Each year there are 7,000 new cases and by the time three quarters of these are diagnosed the cancer has already spread, making treatment more difficult. So what should you look out for?

The symptoms of ovarian cancer are frequent (they usually happen more than 12 times a month) and persistent, and include:

• Increased abdominal size/persistent bloating (not bloating that comes and goes)
• Difficulty eating/feeling full
• Pelvic or abdominal pain
• Needing to wee more urgently or more often

Other symptoms can include unexpected weight loss, change in bowel habits, and extreme fatigue. If you regularly experience any of these symptoms, which are not normal for you, it is important that you see your GP and get checked out.

GPs are now instructed to carry out tests in women especially over the age of 50, if they experience any of the above symptoms on a persistent or frequent basis

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