Know the signs

Central and North Burnett Times - - OPINION YOUR SAY -

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

Coun­cil Queens­land

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