We all need to stop dismissing this ovarian cancer symptom

‘A probiotic yoghurt should not be preventing a woman from visiting the GP promptly if something is worrying her’

While we all experience bloating from time to time, and too often dismiss it as the side-effect of having a big breakfast or too many biscuits, it could in fact be part of a bigger problem.

Target Ovarian Cancer is urging women to stop normalising bloating, a key symptom of Ovarian cancer, after recent research showed that 50% of women are dismissing the signs, choosing to self-medicate with a probiotic yoghurt rather than speaking to their GP when they notice something is wrong.

We are too quick to self-diagnose ourselves, meaning that some cases of ovarian cancer are going undetected.

‘A probiotic yoghurt should not be preventing a woman from visiting the GP promptly if something is worrying her,’ explained Annwen Jones, Chief Executive of Target Ovarian Cancer. ‘Women should not be risking their lives because of the enduring awareness gap around the symptoms of ovarian cancer. If women know ovarian cancer symptoms such as persistent bloating and are able to link them to ovarian cancer early on, lives will be saved.’

‘Ovarian cancer symptoms are not necessarily easy to spot, as they can be vague,’ Martin Ledwick, Cancer Research UK’s head cancer information nurse explained. ‘And they can nearly all be related to other much less serious conditions, particularly when we’re talking about the symptoms for less-advanced ovarian cancer.’

‘There’s a higher chance that the symptoms are caused by cancer if they are new, quite severe, and don’t come and go. If you have any of the symptoms below and they happen on most days for three weeks or more, go to your GP and get a check up, particularly if you are over 50 or have a strong family history of breast or ovarian cancer.

‘It’s important to remember that these symptoms can also be a sign of other illnesses, and most women displaying them will not have cancer.’

Still, if you’re worried – it’s always best to contact your GP.

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