A new study has unearthed some very important information
Words by Jadie Troy-Pryde
Ovarian cancer affects thousands of women in the UK every year, and with this month being Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, now more than ever, is the time to start talking about this disease.
Although it’s the fifth most common cancer among women in Britain, it’s a disease that – if recognised early enough – can be diagnosed, and there are options available for women who have a ‘high risk’ of developing ovarian cancer in the future.
But is there a way to spot it even earlier, and increase our chances of beating it once and for all?
According to a new study, there is.
The research revealed that regular blood tests could help to spot ovarian cancer, due to doctors being able to identify tumours at an earlier stage.
Some women are considered to be ‘high risk’ if they have inherited the ovarian cancer gene, and the new study followed over 4,300 women (who had a higher than 10% chance of getting the disease) for ten years.
Doctors and researchers noticed that when these women were subjected to blood tests three times a year, they were able to see if ovarian cancer was developing and find tumours earlier.
However, it must be stressed that although regular blood tests would help to spot changes in the chemical that is used to mark ovarian cancer, the study would need to continue over the next few years in order to determine whether the blood tests have an indisputable impact on the number of lives saved.
Currently there is no screening for the disease, and women who are at risk of developing ovarian cancer are encouraged to have their ovaries and fallopian tubes removed.
But there are symptoms to look out for – feeling bloated or having a swollen stomach, pain in the pelvic or stomach area, and needing to wee more frequently – so if you are at all worried, seek medical advice from your GP.