About Ovarian Cancer
Ovarian cancer is the 8th most common cancer diagnosed and the 6th most common cause of cancer death. More than 1500 Australian women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year.
Currently there is no early detection available for the cancer, a large percentage of women believe that Pap Smears detect ovarian cancer; however this is not true, as they only detect cervical cancers. The current testing for ovarian cancer involves transvaginal ultrasound (TVUS) and the CA-125 blood test. However, both have a number of flaws in detection and are often not done until symptoms of ovarian cancer present themselves.
The early stage of ovarian cancer often presents with no symptoms. Approximately 75% of women are diagnosed at an advanced stage, where the cancer has spread and is difficult to treat successfully.
At the moment, only 43% of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer will be alive five years later. If ovarian cancer is detected at an early stage, women have an 80% chance of being alive and well after five years.
It’s important for all women to recognize the symptoms which are currently the best way to detect the disease, symptoms to be aware of include:
- Abdominal or pelvic pain.
- Increased abdominal size or persistent abdominal bloating.
- The need to urinate often or urgently.
- Feeling full after eating a small amount.
If these symptoms are unusual for you and persist, please see your GP. For more information about ovarian cancer, and for some great resources visit the Ovarian Cancer Australia website.