Study shows ovar­ian can­cer di­ag­no­sis de­lay

South Burnett Times - - HEALTHY LIVING - www.bodyand­

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.

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