Women urged get familiar with ovarian cancer symptoms

IT’S one of the hardest cancers to detect, it’s the leading cause of death from gynecological cancer, and less than half of all women diagnosed will survive five years.

This February, Cancer Council Queensland is calling on all women to get familiar with the symptoms of ovarian cancer as part of Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.

Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said it was important for all women to know the symptoms of ovarian cancer.


“In Queensland each year, around 250 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer and about 156 women die from the disease,” she said.

“On the Gold Coast alone, around 38 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year, and sadly about 21 women will die from the disease.

“Ovarian cancer can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are ones that many women will normally experience from time to time and are often symptoms of less serious and more common health problems.

“But, when these symptoms are new for you, have persisted for two weeks or more and you have them on all or most days, then it’s time to see your doctor.”

Symptoms to look for:
•    Increased abdominal size or bloating
•    Unexplained abdominal or pelvic pain
•    Feeling full and/or having difficulty eating
•    Increased urinary urgency or change in bowel habits
•    Unexplained weight gain or loss
•    Vaginal bleeding
•    Back pain
•    Indigestion or nausea
•    Excessive fatigue

“Luckily, most women with these symptoms will not have ovarian cancer and your doctor will first identify more common causes of these symptoms,” Ms Clift said.

Queenslanders with questions about ovarian cancer or seeking support can call the Cancer Council Helpline on 13 11 20, Monday to Friday between 8am and 6pm.

For more information about Cancer Council Queensland, visit www.cancerqld.org.au.