Ovarian Cancer Screenings

19.05.2019 Category: Cancer Author: Dr Belinda Griffiths

MARCH IS OVARIAN CANCER AWARENESS MONTH

A vital month raising awareness of ovarian cancer to improve early diagnosis to save lives.

More women died from ovarian cancer in the UK (4,227) than from all other gynaecological cancers combined in 2016, according to Cancer Research UK. However, worryingly one in five women in the UK (22%) mistakenly believe that a smear test (cervical screening) can detect ovarian cancer, according to research Target Ovarian Cancer carried out with YouGov.

We are committed to raising awareness of the disease.

Speak to one of our female GP’s about any concerns you may have about your gynaecological history and your families medical history. During your consultation, we will also conduct a breast check and pelvic examination.


“In the UK a woman dies every two hours from ovarian cancer, but the earlier the diagnosis the better the chances are” Professor Hani Gabra – Director of Ovarian Cancer Action Research Centre

What is ovarian cancer?

Ovarian cancer is when abnormal cells in the ovary begin to grow and divide in an uncontrolled way and eventually form a growth (tumour). Every year 7,300 women in the UK are diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

Who can get ovarian cancer?

The risk of developing ovarian cancer increases as you get older. The most common type of ovarian cancer is epithelial ovarian cancer, this usually occurs in women older than 50 years old. We don’t know exactly what causes epithelial ovarian cancer. But some factors may increase or reduce the risk.

Factors that increase the risk include:

  • getting older
  • inherited faulty genes
  • having breast cancer before

Factors that may reduce the risk include:

  • taking the contraceptive pill
  • having children
  • breastfeeding

Ovarian Cancer is notoriously difficult to spot.

With non-specific symptoms in the early stages. It is hoped that this new method of early diagnosis could help save lives.

How to recognise the symptoms of Ovarian Cancer:

Early Ovarian Cancer symptoms can be similar to those of other conditions, these some to watch out for:

  • Persistent bloating – not bloating that comes and goes
  • Pain in the lower stomach and pelvis
  • Difficulty Eating and feeling full quickly
  • Back pain
  • Fatigue
  • Change in bowel habits

What should you do if you’re worried?

It is important to contact your GP as soon as possible if you spot any symptoms that are abnormal for you.
We understand talking about your concerns and having an examination can be quite worrying and for some, embarrassing, therefore, to make you as comfortable as possible, all our well woman services are booked with a female GP.

There is an Ovarian Cancer Blood Test – CA 125 available

Levels of protein CA125 in the blood are recognised as a marker for ovarian cancer. This simple and effective blood test will detect early stages of ovarian cancer. You can either have this as a stand-alone blood test or add it on to your medical for an additional cost. Please inquire for prices..

Links:
Target Ovarian Cancer
Cancer Research UK

For more information about Fleet Street Clinic’s Women’s Health Services.

You can also book a GP appointment online.

Ovarian Cancer: How to Spot the Symptoms

28.04.2019 Category: Cancer Author: Dr Belinda Griffiths

OVARIAN CANCER AWARENESS MONTH

“In the UK a woman dies every two hours from ovarian cancer, but the earlier the diagnosis the better the chances” Professor Hani Gabra – Director of Ovarian Cancer Action Research Centre.

March marks Ovarian Cancer Awareness month and, at Fleet Street Clinic, we are working to support this important cause, spread awareness and highlight symptoms to help increase early detection.

Ovarian cancer is a common type of cancer with 1 in every 50 women in the UK being diagnosed in their lifetime.

Like with any other type of cancer, early detection saves lives. Your outcome depends on the stage of the cancer when it was diagnosed. This means how big it is and whether it has spread to other areas of the body. The earlier it is detected the easier it is to treat.

Unfortunately, the problem is Ovarian Cancer is notoriously difficult to spot. 

Symptoms tend to be non-specific in the early stages which means it can often be mistaken for more common conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome. This can often lead to delays in diagnosing and increase the chance that the cancer will be identified at a later stage which can have an impact on your survival rate.

When diagnosed in the early stages 9 in 10 women will survive, which is why it is so important to be aware of your body and the symptoms of ovarian cancer. 

HOW TO RECOGNISE THE SYMPTOMS OF OVARIAN CANCER

Early Ovarian Cancer symptoms can be similar to symptoms of other conditions. If you are experiencing any combination of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical advice to rule out Ovarian Cancer:

  • Feeling full quickly
  • Bloating or an increase in the size of your abdomen
  • Needing to wee more frequently
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pain in the lower stomach and pelvis
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Unexplained tiredness
  • Changes to your bowel movements or symptoms similar to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

You should contact a GP as soon as possible if:

  • You frequently feel bloated (more than 12 times a month) 
  • You are experiencing symptoms of ovarian cancer that do not go away
  • You have a family history of ovarian cancer and are concerned about your risk  

The general advice is that if something doesn’t feel right and someone new is happening to your body which is not normal for you, go see a doctor just in case. 

It is important to know that the risk of Ovarian Cancer increases with age. You are at greater risk of Ovarian Cancer if you are over the age of 50 and so regular Ovarian Cancer screenings are a good idea. Perhaps including one within your annual health review would be beneficial for peace of mind. 

Currently, there is no national ovarian cancer screening programme in place, however, there is the option of private healthcare. 

If you experience any of the above mentioned symptoms or you are over 50 and would like an Ovarian Cancer screening, please book an appointment to discuss your concerns with a doctor.