Study shows ovarian cancer diagnosis delay
EVERY year about 1600 Australian women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
Most of these cases are diagnosed with an advanced stage of the disease. Why? A new study conducted by the World Ovarian Cancer Coalition found nine out of 10 women experience symptoms prior to diagnosis, but fewer than half visit the doctor within a month of noticing the symptoms. The study, known as the Ev
ery Woman Study, surveyed 1500 women in 44 countries, making it the largest ever survey of the experience of women living with ovarian cancer.
On average, more than half of the participants had under- gone genetic testing either before or after diagnosis. The results found not only was there a lack of awareness among doctors, resulting in diagnostic delays, but there was a lack of access to genetic testing.
“Globally, the survey revealed diagnosis took an estimated average of 31 weeks from a woman experiencing symptoms to her diagnosis; for one in 10 women, diagnosis came more than a year after visiting a doctor,” Ovarian Cancer Australia CEO Jane Hill said. “The four key symptoms of ovarian cancer are abdominal or pelvic pain, increased abdominal size or persistent abdominal bloating, the need to urinate often or urgently and feeling full after eating a small amount.”
Risk factors include living in a developed country, having been through menopause, starting periods early and going through menopause late, being overweight, family history of cancer, inheriting genes BRCA1 and BRCA2.