Ovarian cancer kills 11 women in the UK every day* according to the Target Ovarian Cancer charity. Over one quarter of these women present when they are at a late stage, and often in an emergency setting. It is important to note that a smear test will not detect the presence of ovarian cancer.
The earlier ovarian cancer is detected, the more likely the treatment will succeed. Early diagnosis is key to the best chance of survival and therefore accessing this treatment is vital.
Symptoms that are known to be ‘red flags’ for this type of cancer are:
Doctors should be particularly suspicious if a woman over 50 presents with these symptoms for the first time as the risk is increased.
If these symptoms are present, a simple blood test can be ordered which measures the level of the CA125 protein in your blood, which can be raised when cancer is present. If this test shows raised levels of this protein, then an ultrasound should urgently be ordered.
Despite these symptoms being widely known to be associated with ovarian cancer, it is often the case that this particular type of cancer can go undetected. This is largely because the above symptoms can also present in a multitude of other non-sinister medical conditions which can sometimes lead a doctor to erroneously diagnosing a woman with irritable bowel syndrome.
During March 2019 the TAKE OVAR campaign will seek to raise awareness amongst women and doctors alike, as to the symptoms and typical presentation of this type of cancer. The charity Target Ovarian Cancer is the UK’s leading ovarian cancer charity and they will offer practical advice and support to women whom have been diagnosed with this disease.
At Wolferstans we sadly have experience of cases where, despite women attending their regular checks, additional opportunities to diagnose the condition have been missed by Primary Care workers including GPs and Practice Nurses. There are other signs and symptoms that can indicate the presence of ovarian cancer and would mandate an urgent referral to a Gynaecologist for further investigation.
A failure to refer or order appropriate testing can result in a delay that has serious implications for a woman, with a late stage diagnosis requiring more invasive treatment, poorer health outcomes and increased risk of loss of life.
If you think you may have a claim and would like to have a free initial discussion without any obligation then get in touch with our Clinical Negligence Client Co-ordinator