Raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer is vital to improving earlier diagnosis and improving outcomes for people affected by the disease. That is why it was concerning that Target Ovarian Cancer’s survey in 2022 showed low levels of awareness of key symptoms among women.
Please be assured that the Government and NHS are committed to improving awareness of the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer, with the NHS working towards the 75 per cent target for early cancer diagnosis to be achieved by 2028.
As the Member of Parliament for Mid Sussex, I have been determined to raise awareness of this deadly disease. Just last month I was delighted to take part in a Teal Heroes event with Target Ovarian Cancer to pledge my support and help promote faster diagnosis: https://www.mimsdavies.org.uk/news/mims-davies-mp-attends-teal-heroes-target-ovarian-cancer-event
It is vital that women contact their GP if they notice any of the symptoms listed at the bottom of the statement as around 7,500 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the UK each year, making it the 6th most common cancer in women. We must take care of ourselves and ensure that we act to catch this disease early to have the best outcome possible.
Even if you're worried about what the symptom might be, don't delay contacting a doctor. Your worry is unlikely to go away if you don't make an appointment. The symptom might not be due to cancer but if it is, the earlier it's picked up the higher the chance of successful treatment. You won't be wasting your doctor's time.
Try not to be embarrassed. What you tell your GP is confidential. Doctors are used to discussing intimate problems and will try to put you at ease.
About ovarian cancer
- 7,495 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year
- 4,182 women die of ovarian cancer each year
- Nearly two-thirds of women in England are diagnosed once the cancer has already spread
Symptoms of ovarian cancer include frequently (roughly 12 or more times a month) having:
- a swollen tummy or feeling bloated
- pain or tenderness in your tummy or the area between the hips (pelvis)
- no appetite or feeling full quickly after eating
- an urgent need to pee or needing to pee more often
Other symptoms of ovarian cancer can include:
- constipation or diarrhoea
- back pain
- feeling tired all the time
- losing weight without trying
- bleeding from the vagina after the menopause
For further information visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/ovarian-cancer/ and https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/ovarian-cancer
Cancer Research UK website: https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/health-professional/cancer-statistics/statistics-by-cancer-type/ovarian-cancer