Women miss signs of ovar­ian cancer

Irish Independent - Health & Living - - UPDATE -

OVER 75pc of women in Ire­land with ovar­ian cancer are pre­sent­ing at stage three be­cause they are not aware of the danger signs and that fig­ure has not changed for 20 years.

There’s no screen­ing test for this cancer and the vast ma­jor­ity are spo­radic cases.

Ovar­ian cancer is the fourth most com­mon cancer in women in Ire­land.

Each year some 350 Ir­ish women are di­ag­nosed and cur­rently the in­ci­dence rate is 24pc higher than the EU av­er­age.

Ovar­ian cancer mainly af­fects women who have been through the menopause, (usu­ally over the age of 50), but it can some­times af­fect younger women. Com­mon symp­toms of ovar­ian cancer in­clude: • feel­ing con­stantly bloated, or a swollen tummy • dis­com­fort in your tummy or pelvic area • feel­ing full quickly when eat­ing • need­ing to uri­nate more of­ten than nor­mal The symp­toms are not al­ways easy to recog­nise be­cause they’re sim­i­lar to those of some more com­mon con­di­tions, such as ir­ri­ta­ble bowel syn­drome (IBS). Bet­ter ac­cess to ge­netic test­ing could pre­vent an es­ti­mated 15pc of all cases of ovar­ian cancer caused by the BRCA1 and BRCA2 ge­netic mu­ta­tions.

Ac­tress An­gelina Jolie had her ovaries re­moved af­ter dis­cov­er­ing she car­ries a faulty BRCA1 gene.

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