Ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cancer in women, after breast, lung, bowel, and uterine cancers. Each year around 6,800 women in the UK are diagnosed with the disease.
It is the highest gynaecological killer of women in the UK and the fourth most common cause of death from cancer in women. Around two thirds of those diagnosed will die from the disease.
If found in the early stages, up to 90% of women will survive for more than five years. Unfortunately, most women in the UK are not diagnosed with ovarian cancer until it has already spread, making successful treatment difficult, and survival rates much lower.
90% of ovarian cancers are not ‘familial’. This means that most women will not have any family history of this cancer, so they may not be aware of symptoms and risk factors.
Ovarian cancer used to be called ‘the silent killer’, even in medical text books, with most women not being diagnosed until the cancer had spread.
Diagnosis can be difficult because symptoms are often similar to those caused by more common, less serious conditions. If you have any of the following symptoms, it is unlikely that they are caused by a serious problem, but it is important that you discuss them with your Doctor and ask if they have considered ovarian cancer.
In particular, you should ask your GP whether ovarian cancer should be considered if you experience any of these three symptoms on most days:
- Persistent pelvic and stomach pain
- Increased abdominal size/persistent bloating (not bloating that comes and goes)
- Difficulty eating and feeling full quickly
Occasionally other symptoms such as urinary symptoms, changes in bowel habit, extreme fatigue or back pain may also be experienced on their own or at the same time as those listed above.
We recommend the following tests for screening:
Pelvic Ultrasound Scan and a CA125 (tumour marker test): £410.00 (inclusive of all fees)