Project to help detect signs of ovarian cancer

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A pilot project urging women to contact their GP if they show potential symptoms of ovarian cancer, has been launched to help early detection of the disease.

Ovarian cancer accounts for more deaths than all other gynaecological cancers combined but early detection increases the chances of survival and can significantly reduce the intensity of treatment, making recovery quicker.

The campaign – run for the Department of Health by the Thames Valley Cancer Network – is aimed particularly at women aged 50 and over, who account for eight out of 10 cases.

The key sign to look for is an unexplained bloated feeling that occurs most days for three weeks or more.

If this happens, women are advised to go to their doctor and get the symptoms checked out.

Professor Sean Kehoe is clinical lead for the pilot – which is part of the ‘Be Clear on Cancer’ initiative.

He said: “Don’t delay if you think you have the symptoms – the sooner you act, the better.”

Ovarian cancer is the UK’s fifth most common cancer in women with the campaign in Milton Keynes running for two months.

It will feature advertisements in the local press, TV and radio, highlighting symptoms to look for.

The pilot project is part of an awareness and early diagnosis initiative which has also featured national campaigns for bowel and lung cancer.