March is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

Ovarian Cancer is the second most common Gynaecological cancer. March is Ovarian Cancer Awareness month and key charities working in this area are coming together to support the cause, including The Eve Appeal, Ovacome, Ovarian Cancer Action and Target Ovarian Cancer.

This is a cancer which if caught early is treatable with a 90% prospect of survival if treated in the early stage. However, due to a combination of factors often the disease is only diagnosed at an advanced stage when the prospect of survival plummets to 22%.

Campaigners from The Eve Appeal are keen to highlight the outcome of a recent research project. Results published from the world’s biggest ovarian cancer screening trial, which was led by University College London (UCL) and funded by The Eve Appeal, Cancer Research UK, Medical Research Council, and the Department of Health suggested that an annual blood test may help reduce the number of women dying from ovarian cancer by around 20%. If there was to be a Government funded programme of ovarian cancer screening this could result in huge improvements in long terms survival. Sadly there is no support for a national screening programme at present.

Ovarian cancer is not a common cancer and the profile of the disease is low. As many as 80% of women are unable to name the symptoms. Many GPs see the disease only rarely with an average of 1 case presenting to a GP every 5 years. As the symptoms can mimic those of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) women can be wrongly diagnosed with this condition.

Ovacome has a BEAT mnemonic symptom checker to help women recognise the symptoms:

  • B is for Bloating; it’s persistent and doesn’t come and go

  • E is for Eating; difficulty eating and feeling full quickly

  • A is for Abdominal; and pelvic pain you feel most days

  • T is for Talking; tell your GP

To find out more follow the link to Ovacome’s website below.

Their campaign also has celebrity support from Liberty X through Michelle Heaton who underwent surgery to remove her ovaries after discovering that she was a carrier of the BRAC gene which placed her at a high risk of developing the disease.

Links to websites mentioned in this article appear here:

If you or a family member has been affected by a late diagnosis of ovarian or any other cancer, contact our team of experts in our Clinical Negligence Department who have skill and expertise in dealing with these cases on 0800 316 8892.