Two in three women are uneducated about deadliest cancer

Symptoms of ovarian cancer

A worldwide study has revealed two in three women don’t know anything about ovarian cancer prior to their diagnosis, despite it being the deadliest of female cancers.

Ovarian cancer has a 45% survival rate and as the symptoms are generalised and vague, the World Ovarian Cancer Coalition has responded to these statistics, saying that women need to be more educated.

The study

The World Ovarian Cancer Coalition found it takes an average 32.5 weeks from when a woman first experiences symptoms of ovarian cancer, to the date of diagnosis.

Ovarian Cancer Coalition CEO Jane Hill said that women will delay going to a doctor for an average 10.7 weeks.

“Women lead busy lives – working, care-fiving, parenting – so firstly women may ignore their symptoms often because they’re just too busy,” Ms Hill said.

The second side of the delay is the average 21.8 weeks it can take a doctor to diagnose ovarian cancer.

“It is difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are vague,” she said.

“The four common symptoms are pelvic or abdominal pain, feeling full after eating a small meal, urgency or frequency of wanting to go to the toilet and a bloated stomach.

“The public and GPs need to know the symptoms. We don’t want women to get alarmed but if they do experience those symptoms persistently for a four to six-week period then they should be going to see the doctor.”

What you need to know

The eighth most common type of cancer is ovarian cancer and it’s on the rise, projected to grow by approximately 55% by 2035.

Even though 15 to 20% of cases are due to inherited mutations, the actual cause for ovarian cancer remains unknown.

According to the experts at House Call Doctor, other causes for ovarian cancer include age (women over 50 are at greater risk), smoking, poor diet, being overweight, not having children, and endometriosis.

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