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Ovarian cancer awareness month

16 March 2015

Ovarian cancer is currently the fifth most common cancer amongst women in the UK, after breast, lung, bowel and womb, with approximately 7,100 females in Britain diagnosed every year with the disease.

Most cases of cancer of the ovary develop in women over the age of 50 and are often due to gene changes that develop during a woman’s life and are not inherited. However, one in 10 ovarian cancers (10%) are caused by an inherited faulty gene. Faulty inherited genes that increase the risk of ovarian cancer include BRCA1 and BRCA2, these genes also increase the risk of breast cancer.

Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month is a great time to let women know that they can do positive things to improve their health and that early detection can make a massive difference to the success of treatment.

It is really important that women are aware of what is normal for them, so that they recognise any changes. If you know your body, then you can act early if something out-of-the-ordinary happens.

Symptoms to be aware of:

• Persistent stomach pain and bloating

• Increased abdominal size

• Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly

• Weight loss

• Passing urine more often

• Back pain

• Changes in your bowel habits (diarrhoea or constipation)

• Feeling tired all the time

Anyone who experiences the symptoms associated with ovarian cancer or are worried that they may have the inherited faulty gene, should visit their GP who can then refer them to a specialist if necessary.

Diagnosis:

Your GP will arrange a number of tests which will include:

• Physical examination

• CA125 blood test

• Pelvic ultrasound scan

If these tests suggest that you may have ovarian cancer then your GP will refer you to a specialist for further investigations to confirm that this is the case.

Mr Richard Slade is a Consultant Gynaecological Surgeon at The Wilmslow Hospital at 52 Alderley Road and The Christie Clinic, and specialises in gynaecological cancers. For more information or to book a consultation with Mr Richard Slade please call 01625 545 036.

The private Wilmslow Hospital at 52 Alderley Road has a dedicated Women’s Health Unit that not only offers patients access to an experienced multi-disciplinary team of leading consultants and specialist nurses, but provides women with additional privacy and convenience as the unit has its own reception and seating area. This unique bespoke service, offers patients routine investigations and surgical procedures across a wide range of conditions from gynaecological issues to breast care.

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