New Australian study: ovarian cancer exhibits early symptoms.Press Release. 2009. National Breast and Ovarian Cancer ovarian cancer
Malignant tumour of the ovaries. Risk factors include early age of first menstruation (before age 12), late onset of menopause (after age 52), absence of pregnancy, presence of specific genetic mutations, use of fertility drugs, and personal history of breast Centre www.nbcc.org.au 2 February.
New preliminary findings from an Australian study show ovarian cancer is not a 'silent' disease after all. The data shows most women (83%) experience at least one symptom of ovarian cancer in the year prior to their diagnosis. The study also revealed 17% of women waited more than three months after the onset of their symptoms before visiting their doctor, with 8% waiting more than six months. The most common reason for the delay was an assumption that the symptoms were not serious, with many women attributing them to another medical condition or the natural process of ageing.
The study by National Breast and Ovarian Cancer Centre in collaboration with the Queensland Institute of Medical Research The Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR) is one of the largest medical research institutes in the southern hemisphere, and is recognised worldwide for the quality of its research. QIMR was established in 1945 by the State Government in Queensland. , examined the pathways taken by 1500 Australian women to their diagnosis of ovarian cancer, strengthening the case for women to be aware of the symptoms of the disease. As there is no screening test for ovarian cancer, the first step to diagnosis is a woman identifying symptoms which are persistent and unusual for her and seeking medical attention. It is therefore vital that women are aware of the symptoms to look out for. These include abdominal bloating bloating Vox populi A lay term for post-prandial abdominal fullness or swelling , abdominal or back pain, appetite loss or feeling full quickly, changes in toilet habits, unexplained weight loss or gain, indigestion indigestion or dyspepsia, discomfort during or after eating caused by some interference with the normal digestive process. Symptoms include nausea, heartburn, abdominal pain, gas distress, and a feeling of abdominal distention. or heartburn, fatigue. The most common symptoms, experienced by half of the study participants, were abdominal symptoms such as fullness and pain. Bloating, bowel or urinary symptoms were reported by approximately one third of participants.
Many women will experience these symptoms as part of everyday life, but unusual or persistent symptoms should be investigated.
This year about 1300 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in Australia. More than half of women diagnosed do not survive five years after their diagnosis. More than 70% of women are diagnosed at an advanced stage where the cancer has spread and is difficult to treat successfully.