World Cancer Day: How to spot the signs of ovarian cancer
Ovarian cancer is one of the most common cancers in women.
Ovarian cancer is the seventh most commonly occurring cancer in women and the eighth most common cause of death from cancer in women in the world, according to FIGO.org.
It is called "the silent killer" because its symptoms can easily be mistaken for those of less serious conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, especially in the early stages.
As a result, two thirds of cases are not picked up until the cancer has spread around the body, when it is very hard to treat.
Yet if it is detected in the earliest stage, more than 90 percent of women survive for five years or more.
The most common symptoms to watch for are bloating that doesn’t come and go, pelvic or abdominal pain most days, feeling full quickly when eating or loss of appetite, and needing the toilet frequently.
Others symptoms include indigestion and nausea, a change in bowel habits, back pain, vaginal bleeding, lethargy and weight loss.
Yet a recent poll found more than one woman in five mistakenly think smear tests, which screen for cervical cancer, also pick up ovarian cancer. Some experts think this means women are ignoring symptoms because they assume there is nothing to worry about.
The charity Target Ovarian Cancer advises women to see their GP if they feel constantly bloated and have other symptoms that don’t go away, especially if they are over 50 or have a family history of ovarian or breast cancer (as this can raise the risk of the disease).Daily Mail