New Australian study: ovarian cancer exhibits early symptoms.
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, 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, abdominal or back pain, appetite loss or feeling full quickly, changes in toilet habits, unexplained weight loss or gain, indigestion 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.
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|Publication:||Australian Journal of Medical Herbalism|
|Date:||Mar 22, 2009|
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