Epsom and St Helier hospitals specialist cancer team are urging women to book potentially life-saving GP check-ups as part of Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.
Nationally 4,100 women die from ovarian cancer ever year, which is an average of 11 women per day. Louise O’Connor, Macmillan Clinical Nurse Specialist for Gynaecological Oncology, said: “If you feel that something is wrong then please act early and contact your GP, especially if the symptoms are new and don't go away.
“Symptoms of ovarian cancer include persistent bloating, pain in the pelvis or abdomen, difficulty eating or feeling full early, and needing to pass urine urgently or more often than usual. It is incredibly important that we raise awareness of ovarian cancer and encourage women to get any symptoms checked as soon as possible – early detection can make a significant difference.”
Currently, 7,000 women in the UK are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year, and it is predicted that cases of ovarian cancer will increase by 15% by 2035. Hilary Hollis, Head of Nursing for Clinical Services and Lead Macmillan Cancer Nurse, said: “Five Year survival rates for women with ovarian cancer are completely dependent on the stage of the disease, ranging from 75% to 90% survival for early stage diagnoses, to just 15% to 50% for advanced conditions.
“Ovarian cancer can be more difficult to treat when found later, but when diagnosed at the earliest stage, the chance of surviving ovarian cancer for five years or more doubles from just 46% to more than 90%. Early reporting of any symptoms is absolutely crucial, so I would urge any woman who is experiencing any of these symptoms to book an appointment to see their GP as soon as possible.”
For more information about Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, visit: www.targetovariancancer.org.uk/march-ovarian-cancer-awareness-month.