25 March 2022
Women in Jersey are being urged to know the five main symptoms associated with ovarian cancer as part of Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.
Approximately one woman is diagnosed with ovarian cancer every month in Jersey. However, unlike cervical, bowel and breast cancers, there are no current effective screening methods for ovarian cancer and it is estimated that 90% of women are unaware of the symptoms.
The five main symptoms of ovarian cancer are:
- abdominal pain
- bloating or a swollen abdomen
- loss of appetite
- feeling full more quickly
- needing to pass urine more frequently
Other symptoms might also include back pain, changes in bowel habits, and extreme tiredness for no obvious reason.
Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Dr Fiona Nelson said: "The earlier ovarian cancer is diagnosed, the better the outcomes. That's why it's important that we all know the symptoms to look out for and that you act quickly if you're experiencing symptoms that are persistent, severe, frequent or out of the ordinary for you. If you're having these symptoms 12 or more times in one month you should visit your GP, who can arrange further investigations, especially if you're over the age of 50.
"Ovarian cancer symptoms are similar to those of other conditions, so if you're experiencing them it doesn't necessarily mean you have ovarian cancer. It can be useful to keep a record of what symptoms you are experiencing and have your notes to hand when you speak to your doctor.
"The most important thing we can all do to raise awareness of ovarian cancer is to understand the symptoms and share this information with our loved ones."