Ovarian Cancer

NHS Kent and Medway Cancer Alliance will be getting the conversation going on ovarian cancer this March. The alliance’s earlier diagnosis team will be out and about during Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month with its latest campaign – ‘let’s talk about ovarian cancer’.

The campaign has been launched to encourage women to know the signs of ovarian cancer and contact their GP if they are concerned; this is part of a new drive to increase earlier diagnosis of the disease.

Around 230 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer in Kent and Medway every year. In 2020, 57 per cent of cases were diagnosed at a late stage. Women can be diagnosed with ovarian cancer at any age but it’s more common in women aged between 60 and 80.

The main symptoms of ovarian cancer are:

  • Persistent bloating or a swollen tummy
  • Reduced appetite or feeling full quickly after eating
  • Pain or tenderness in your tummy or pelvis (the area between the hips)
  • Urinary symptoms (needing to wee more urgently or more often)

These will be:

  • Frequent – they will usually happen more than 12 times per month
  • Persistent – they don’t go away
  • New – they’re not normal for you

There are many other (non-cancer) causes for these symptoms but if you are concerned, it’s best to get them checked out.

Dr Tina George, Early Diagnosis Clinical Lead for NHS Kent and Medway Cancer Alliance and Cancer Research UK GP, said: “The symptoms of ovarian cancer are not always obvious, but it’s important to know the signs and get checked out if you have any concerns.

“Ovarian cancer can be diagnosed later than other cancers, but early diagnosis makes it easier to treat.

“Please don’t ignore your symptoms, especially if they are not normal for you. If you have been to see your GP but remain concerned because your symptoms have not gone away or they are getting worse, you can always ask for a second appointment.”

Find your nearest local roadshow:

  • Dover Leisure Centre, Fitness Fields, Whitfield, Dover CT16 3FZ on Monday, 13 March between 9am and 12:30
  • Sheppey Leisure Complex, Beach Street, Sheerness ME12 1HH on Wednesday, 22 March between 09:30 and 13:00
  • Folkestone Sports Centre, Radnor Park Avenue, Folkestone CT19 5HX on Wednesday, 29 March between 9:30 and 12:30

Finding ovarian cancer early can mean it’s more treatable. Have the conversation. Contact your GP practice.

Visit Have Your Say to find out how you can get involved in the campaign.

For more information about ovarian cancer, visit NHS: Ovarian Cancer.