Get savvy with the symptoms of ovarian cancer
March is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and local GPs support the call for women to get savvy with the symptoms.
Two-thirds of patients are diagnosed once ovarian cancer has already spread. But women can help prevent this by being aware of the symptoms and seeing their GP if they are worried.
Research carried out by the charity Target Ovarian Cancer suggests that only three per cent of women are very confident of spotting a symptom of ovarian cancer, so here are the most common:
- Persistent bloating - not bloating that comes and goes
- Feeling full quickly and/or loss of appetite
- Pelvic or abdominal pain (that's your tummy and below)
- Urinary symptoms (needing to wee more urgently or more often than usual)
Occasionally there can be other symptoms:
- Changes in bowel habits (eg diarrhoea or constipation)
- Feeling very tired
- Unexplained weight loss
Women over the age of 50 who have gone through the menopause and have a family history of ovarian or breast cancer are most at risk. However women of all ages can help reduce their risk of developing the disease by keeping control of their weight, stopping smoking avoiding use of talcolm powder in intimate areas.
Information on ovarian cancer and resources to support Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month are available from: www.targetovariancancer.org.uk