Ovarian cancer is the fourth most common form of cancer in women, after breast, lung, and bowel cancer. Each year in the UK there are approximately 7,000 cases of the disease – that’s roughly 135 women every week! Sadly there are around 4,300 deaths from ovarian cancer every year.
Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month this March is supported by many different charities who aim to reach more people with information about symptoms and provide training for GPs. The more informed women and GPs are to the symptoms the less likely there is for anything to be missed.
Early diagnosis is vitally important with ovarian cancer. Most women are diagnosed once the cancer has already spread which makes treatment so much harder. The current five-year survival rate for ovarian cancer is 43%. If diagnosed at the earliest stage, up to 90% of women would survive five years or more.
Delays in diagnosis are not uncommon as women sometime delay seeing their GP, and GPs sometimes do not recognise the symptoms that women report.
Ovarian Cancer Symptoms
The symptoms of ovarian cancer are frequent (they usually occur more than 12 times a month) and persistent, and can include:
• Increased abdominal size/persistent bloating (not bloating that comes and goes)
• Difficulty eating/feeling full
• Pelvic or abdominal pain
• Needing to pass urine more urgently or more often
Other symptoms can include unexpected weight loss, change in bowel habits, and extreme fatigue.
If you, or anyone you know, regularly experience any of these symptoms, which are not normal for you, it is important that you see your GP. It is unlikely that the symptoms are caused by a serious problem, but it is important to be checked out.
Unfortunately the symptoms of ovarian cancer are sometimes overlooked or dismissed if you are not deemed “at risk” from the disease. This can lead to delayed Cancer Diagnosis which reduces the chances of recovery.
Ovarian Cancer Treatment
Depending on the stage of the cancer there are different medical approaches. These can range from surgery to radio and chemotherapy. Early diagnosis can catch the cancer at a lower stage, hopefully removing the need for long drawn out treatments.
If you or a member of your family has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and you believe it should have been diagnosed sooner, Slater and Gordon Lawyers can provide legal advice, support and rehabilitation immediately. We can visit you at home or in hospital if you are unable to reach our offices.
For a free consultation call the Medical Negligence Solicitors at Slater and Gordon Lawyers on freephone 0800 916 9049 or contact us online and we will call you.
Slater and Gordon Lawyers are a leading clinical and medical negligence law firm with 1,450 staff and offices in London, Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Milton Keynes, Sheffield, Newcastle, Halifax, Wakefield, Merseyside, Cambridge, Derby and meeting rooms in Bramhall, Cheshire and in Hull, Yorkshire.