Know the symptoms of ovarian cancer and save lives

In support of Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month this March, health leaders at NHS South Sefton and NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are encouraging local women to learn the key symptoms of ovarian cancer.

The earlier women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer the more likely they will respond to treatment. That’s why it’s important to raise awareness of the symptoms of ovarian cancer to promote early diagnoses.

Dr Graeme Allan, cancer lead for NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “Ovarian cancer mainly affects those who have gone through the menopause (usually women over 50) but it can affect younger women as well, that’s why it’s important everyone is aware of the symptoms.”

Some common symptoms include:

  • Feeling bloated for a prolonged period of time
  • Having a swollen tummy
  • Feeling full very quickly after eating
  • Needing to pee more often
  • Discomfort in your tummy or pelvic area

If you experience any symptoms you should see your GP. Whilst most women with these symptoms will not have cancer it is good to check just to be safe. GPs can do some initial tests or refer you to a hospital if further tests are needed.

In addition to age, other risk factors for ovarian cancer include being overweight,  smoking, having a family history of ovarian or breast cancer, or a personal history of breast cancer.

Dr Debbie Harvey, cancer lead for NHS South Sefton CCG, said: “At the moment, many women in the UK are being diagnosed with ovarian cancer at a late stage, when treatment is less effective. We need to raise awareness of the symptoms so it can be diagnosed sooner and treated.”

For more information on ovarian cancer visit the NHS Website at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/ovarian-cancer/

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