Ovarian cancer: the majority of women do not know the symptoms, and it is problematic

Ovarian cancer is often diagnosed at an advanced stage, says UK charity Target Ovarian Cancer. In the UK, 7,500 new cases are detected each year, and the disease kills a third of women within the first year of diagnosis. A phenomenon due in particular to the fact that women are unaware of the frequent symptoms of this disease, and that these are sometimes confused with other health problems, reveals a survey by the association, relayed by the DailyMail.

Many women do not know the symptoms of ovarian cancer

The survey is based on responses from 1,000 women. It reveals that a very large majority of them do not know what the symptoms of the disease are. Thus, 99% of them indicated that they did not know that the fact that they may need to urinate urgently more often is a potential sign of ovarian cancer. This is all the more worrying as the medical profession regularly confuses this sign with a symptom of irritable bowel syndrome or the onset of menopause.

In 97% of cases, women also don’t know that having a feeling of having a full stomach is a symptom. Bloating is also unknown for 79% of them, as is abdominal pain (68% don’t know). They are also poorly informed of diagnostic methods, since 40% think that ovarian cancer can be detected during an ultrasound screening for cervical cancer.

Better inform women of the signs of ovarian cancer

When these symptoms are recurrent, it is important to consult. For Annwen Jones, member of the organization Target Ovarian Cancer, it is also essential to inform women about the symptoms of this disease: “Knowing the symptoms is crucial for everyone. […] Progress is possible. If we do this, fewer people will be diagnosed at an advanced stage, fewer people will need invasive treatment, and ultimately fewer people will die needlessly from ovarian cancer.”

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