It’s important to recognise the early signs and symptoms of Ovarian Cancer so it can be detected early. Early detection of ovarian cancer is crucial for successful treatment.
Here are four common early signs of ovarian cancer:
- Abdominal or Pelvic Pain: Persistent pain in the abdomen or pelvis, which may feel like cramps or discomfort, can be an early indication of ovarian cancer.
- Bloating or Swelling: Ongoing bloating or swelling in the abdomen, often accompanied by a feeling of fullness, can be a potential early symptom.
- Changes in Appetite: Sudden and unexplained changes in appetite, such as feeling full quickly after eating or experiencing a loss of appetite, can be an early warning sign.
- Urinary Issues: Frequent urination, urgency to urinate, or changes in bladder habits without any known cause can be early signs of ovarian cancer.
It's important to note that these symptoms can be indicative of various other conditions as well. If you experience any of these signs persistently and they are unusual for you, it is recommended to consult a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and diagnosis.
In females in the UK, ovarian cancer is the 6th most common cancer, with around 7,500 new cases every year (2016-2018). That's why it’s so important to know what to look for so that you can catch it early and get treatment right away.
Risk Factors - As with any type of cancer, there are certain risk factors that make someone more likely to develop ovarian cancer than others. These include being over age 50; being obese; having a family history of ovarian or other reproductive cancers; having already had breast cancer; taking hormones such as estrogen replacement therapy; using fertility drugs; smoking tobacco; and/or having endometriosis (a condition where tissue similar to that found in the uterus grows outside of it). It’s important for women who have any of these risk factors to speak with their doctor about their chances of developing ovarian cancer and how best to monitor for it.
Screening & Treatment Options - Ovarian cancer can be difficult to diagnose as the symptoms are often similar to other health conditions and include a loss of appetite, frequent urination and bloating, amongst other symptoms. This is one reason why ovarian cancer is often diagnosed at an advanced stage, meaning that a poor survival rate is likely. However, by detecting suspected ovarian cancer early, women are far more likely to survive the illness.
Pall Mall Medical offer two different types of blood tests to help diagnose and detect ovarian cancer early:
- CA 125 Blood Test - The detection of the CA 125 protein in your blood may indicate the presence of ovarian cancer.
- HE4 Blood Test - This is a new marker which is over-expressed in patients with ovarian cancer. (This test is not currently available on the NHS)
Clinically, when tested together this offers the clinician the best results to identify any potential abnormalities, which would then warrant any further investigation.
Alongside this, we also offer a Women’s Health Screen, tailored to women’s health which includes a gynaecology consultation, combined CA125 & HE4 blood test and an ovarian ultrasound scan.
Early detection can increase the survival rate to 90% of women. Book your private appointment today. Tests start from £121.
Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month serves as an important reminder for all women – regardless of age – that they need to be aware of both the signs and symptoms associated with this potentially deadly form of cancer as well as potential risk factors which could make them more vulnerable than others when it comes to developing it themselves. By staying informed on all aspects related to this disease – including screening options should you experience any concerning symptoms – you will be better equipped should you ever find yourself faced with a diagnosis yourself or with a loved one who has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Make sure you talk with your doctor today about what steps you can take now so you can stay safe!
At Pall Mall Medical, you can obtain fast results and world-class care that will provide peace of mind. Offering private appointment bookings for the next day onwards, with no waiting lists, we strive to be your first choice for all your healthcare needs.