The whole month of March is dedicated to ovarian cancer awareness.
Target Ovarian Cancer, the UK’s leading ovarian cancer charity, is helping spread the word about symptoms to look out for.
This month it is particularly important to get together, raise money and spread awareness about the most common cancer in women.
Each year there are 7,300 more cases of ovarian cancer, and 4,100 deaths in the UK.
The symptoms can be very difficult to recognise as they tend to be the same as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS).
Early diagnosis is very important, considering if diagnosed at the earliest stage up to 90% of women survive five years or more.
What are the symptoms of ovarian cancer?
The main symptoms of ovarian cancer are, according to the NHS:
• Feeling constantly bloated
• A swollen stomach
• Discomfort in stomach or pelvic area
• Feeling full quickly when eating, or loss of appetite
• Needing to pee more often, or more urgently than normal
Other signs of ovarian cancer can include:
• Persistent indigestion or nausea
• Pain during sex
• Change in bowel habits
• Back pain
• Vaginal bleeding, particularly bleeding after the menopause
• Feeling tired all the time
• Unintentional weight loss
It’s important to see your GP if you have been struggling with these symptoms.
The NHS particularly recommends seeing your GP if you have been feeling bloated most days for the last three weeks.
They also recommend getting checked out if other symptoms of ovarian cancer won’t go away.
This is particularly the case if you are over 50 or have family history of ovarian or break cancer.
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