Research charity, Ovarian Cancer Action, has found almost a third of women with ovarian cancer in the East Midlands are being diagnosed too late.
Early diagnosis by a GP is integral to fighting ovarian cancer. Currently in the UK, only 46% of women live beyond five years after being diagnosed with the disease, with years survived significantly dropping the later diagnoses are made. Women have a 90% chance of survival when diagnosed with ovarian cancer at stage one, which drops dramatically to 4% when diagnosed at stage four.2
Ovarian Cancer Action has analysed data published by Public Health England and found 29% of women with ovarian cancer in the East Midlands were diagnosed by emergency presentation 1 – when cancer has had time to advance and symptoms have become severe.
Survival rates for women diagnosed through emergency presentation are significantly lower than all other routes to diagnosis 3. To ensure women with ovarian cancer have the best chances of survival, Ovarian Cancer Action is educating GPs to recognise symptoms, are appealing to the women of East Midlands to visit their GP if they recognise the following symptoms.
Symptoms for ovarian cancer include:
Persistent stomach pain
Difficulty eating/feeling full more quickly
Needing to wee more frequently
If your symptoms are persistent, severe, frequent or out of the ordinary – visit your GP.
Katherine Taylor, Chief Executive of Ovarian Cancer Action, says: “Ovarian cancer kills more women than the other four gynaecological cancers combined. A woman diagnosed with ovarian cancer through emergency presentation is a woman who could have been diagnosed earlier and given a better chance of survival – so education and awareness are key. We work closely with health professionals, including GPs, to identify the signs of ovarian cancer, which are often misunderstood. We as women also need to listen to our bodies; get to know what is normal and be persistent with doctors if we think something is wrong.”