March is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. According to the NHS.UK website, Ovarian cancer, or cancer of the ovaries, is one of the most common types of cancer in women. The ovaries are a pair of small organs located low in the tummy that are connected to the womb and store a woman’s supply of eggs. Ovarian cancer mainly affects women who have been through the menopause (usually over the age of 50), but it can sometimes affect younger women.
Dr Rebecca Herbertson, Consultant Medical Oncologist BMBS, DM, FRCP said “Each year >7000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the UK. Symptoms can often be subtle, meaning sadly many women have advanced disease when they are diagnosed. The pandemic has made diagnosing and treating ovarian cancer even harder. It is vital that women are aware of the potential symptoms and consult their GPs as soon as possible so that a prompt diagnosis can give them the best chance of a successful outcome.
We have worked hard in Sussex to build up a successful clinical trial portfolio to give women with ovarian cancer the opportunity to take part in research. We are very grateful for The Sussex Cancer Fund, who have played an important role in this by funding a research practitioner who currently oversees recruitment to one of our ovarian cancer trials.”
Symptoms of ovarian cancer
Common symptoms of ovarian cancer include:
- feeling constantly bloated
- a swollen tummy
- discomfort in your tummy or pelvic area
- feeling full quickly when eating
- needing to pee more often than usual
The symptoms are not always easy to recognise because they’re similar to those of some more common conditions, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
When to see a GP
See a GP if:
- you have been feeling bloated, particularly more than 12 times a month
- you have other symptoms of ovarian cancer that will not go away
- you have a family history of ovarian cancer and are worried you may be at a higher risk of getting it
It’s unlikely you have cancer, but it’s best to check. A GP can do some simple tests to see if you have it.
Find out more from NHS.UK here.
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