Ovarian cancer awareness month takes place in March and the UK’s leading ovarian cancer charity, Target Ovarian Cancer, is working hard to improve early diagnosis, fund life-saving research and provide much needed support for women with ovarian cancer.
According to the charity, 9 out of 10 women will survive this disease if they are diagnosed early and therefore awareness of the symptoms, and seeking appropriate medical advice, can lead to that vital, early diagnosis.
Symptoms often associated with this type of cancer are:
• persistent abdominal bloating
• feeling full quickly or a loss of appetite
• pelvic or abdominal pain
• an increased or urgent need to urinate
Occasionally there can be other symptoms including changes in bowel habit, extreme fatigue and unexplained weight loss.
It is important to note that many of these symptoms can also be associated with entirely benign conditions such as ovarian cysts and irritable bowel syndrome, so it is important to speak to a GP to get checked out. More information regarding the symptoms of ovarian cancer can be found on the charity’s website.
The GP can order a simple blood test which can measure the level of the CA125 protein in blood. If this test shows raised levels of this protein, then an ultrasound scan may be recommended to investigate further and, if necessary, lead to a referral to a specialist Consultant.
Treatment of ovarian cancer will vary depending upon the stage and type as well as the woman’s history and more information can be found here.
1 in 50 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in their lifetime and therefore the Target Ovarian Cancer charity will be running the March campaign ‘1 in 50 awareness challenge’ where it is hoped this will help raise awareness of the symptoms and typical presentation of this type of cancer.
The challenge is simple – tell 50 people about the symptoms of ovarian cancer. This could be direct, by talking to family and friends, or through social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
The charity has a variety of free awareness materials including leaflets, posters and more, all of which can be found here.
Remember – early diagnosis is the key to improved survival. We at Wolferstans will be promoting this message and would ask that you join us in helping raise awareness.