Know the signs
EACH year in Queensland, about 280 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer. February marks Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. The three most common forms of ovarian cancer are epithelial, germ cell and stromal cell.
The cause of ovarian cancer is unknown, however risk factors of ovarian cancer include age, genetic factors, family history reproductive history, lifestyle and hormonal factors. Currently, there are no tests effective enough for a population-based screening program for ovarian cancer, and no proven way to prevent the disease. Unfortunately, ovarian cancer is difficult to diagnose at an early stage, largely because symptoms can be vague or like those of other common illnesses.
These symptoms may include increased abdominal size or bloating, unexplained abdominal or pelvic pain, feeling full and/or having difficulty eating, unexplained weight gain or loss, back pain, indigestion, diarrhoea, changes in menstrual pattern, bleeding after menopause, pain during sex, nausea or excessive fatigue.
As these symptoms may occur with other conditions, see your doctor if they are new, cause discomfort, persist over a period of time or if you are concerned.
To find out more about ovarian cancer, please visit cancerqld .org.au and visit the cancer information section. If you or a loved one needs support following a cancer diagnosis, please call 13 11 20 or visit cancerqld.org.au.
Ms Chris McMillan, CEO, Cancer