February is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and it may shock you to learn that one in 77 women will develop ovarian cancer in their lifetime. In fact of the 1,200 Australian women who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer every year, around 800 will die from the disease.
There is currently no reliable early detection test or screening program for ovarian cancer (the pap smear does not test for ovarian cancer). So every woman needs to know the symptoms of ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer is often a ‘silent’ disease in its early stages, which means many women have no symptoms at all, or symptoms that are very difficult to recognise.
Some of the more common symptoms associated with ovarian cancer are:
- Unexplained abdominal or pelvic pain.
- Increased abdominal size or persistent abdominal bloating.
- Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly.
- Needing to urinate often or urgently or a change in bowel habits.
Also let your doctor know if you have any other symptoms that are not usual for you. These may include:
• Unexplained weight gain or loss
• Vaginal bleeding
• Back pain
• Indigestion or nausea
• Excessive fatigue
I urge all women to be aware of changes and seek advice from their G.P if they are concerned. Early detection and increased awareness is important in winning the fight against ovarian cancer.
If you are feeling generous, why not donate? It is, after all, important to remember that your generosity will allow Ovarian Cancer Australia to continue developing and expanding awareness and support programs to create a future of hope for all women. Donate securely online at www.ovariancancer.net.au or call 1300 660 334 to make a donation over the phone. Remember that all donations over $2 are tax deductible and that you will be putting your money towards a fantastic cause.
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