With March being Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, Bay Health and Care Partners are urging women to make themselves familiar with the symptoms.
Eleven women in the UK die every day from ovarian cancer. Raising awareness about the symptoms gives women the best chances of survival as early diagnosis saves lives.
Dr Arun Thimmiah, Barrow GP and GP Lead on Cancer at Morecambe Bay Clinical Commissioning Group said: “It’s important that women know ovarian cancer is not detected by a smear test, as this is sometimes a common misconception.
“The best thing you can do is to make sure you’re aware of the symptoms and if you start regularly experiencing any one of them and this isn’t the norm for you, go to your GP.
“Your GP will be able to do some simple tests to see if you might have ovarian cancer. If you've already seen your GP and your symptoms continue or get worse, it’s really important that you go back to them and explain that you are still suffering with those symptoms."
Common symptoms of ovarian cancer are:
- Feeling constantly bloated
- Swollen tummy
- Discomfort in your tummy or pelvic area
- Feeling full quickly when eating
- Needing to pee more often than normal
Make sure you see your GP if:
- You’ve been feeling bloated most days for the last three weeks
- You have other symptoms of ovarian cancer that won’t go away
- You have a family history of ovarian cancer and are worried you may be at higher risk of getting it
According to the charity, Target Ovarian Cancer, every year 7,300 women in the UK are diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
Three quarters of the women diagnosed with the cancer find that it has already spread, making treatment more difficult.
Dr Arun added: “Awareness is so important, as it drives forward improvements in early detection of the cancer and treatment going forward.
“Please, if you’re concerned, talk to someone, whether that be your GP, family member or friend.”
Find out more on ovarian cancer here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/ovarian-cancer/