Ovarian Cancer Day: risks and symptoms

08 May 2014

 World Ovarian Cancer Day Logo

In recognition of World Ovarian Cancer day on 8th May 2014, our gynaecology consultant Miss Neela Mukhopadhaya discusses the risks, symptoms and what to do if you’re concerned.

 What is ovarian cancer?

  • Ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cancer in women, affecting over 6,500 women in the UK each year
  • Ovarian growths are often diagnosed on scans carried out for other reasons and usually disappear within a few weeks. However the risk of a symptomatic cyst being malignant is 1:1000 in women under 40, this increases to 3:1000 by the age of 50
  • Of ovarian masses which require surgery, 13-21% are diagnosed with ovarian cancer

What are the risks to me?

Everyone is at risk of ovarian cancer, but there are risk factors which make some people more susceptible:

  • Statistics show that Ashkenazi Jews are more likely to develop ovarian cancer
  • The risk of ovarian cancer dramatically increases in patients over 50
  • The risks are much higher for those with a strong family history of breast and ovarian cancer. A BRCA 1 or 2 gene mutation can increase risk of breast and/or ovarian cancer to a 50-85% lifetime risk. 

What should I do if I am worried or present symptoms?

Ovarian cancer is often asymptomatic, or symptoms can often be mistaken for other conditions. This means that ovarian cancer is often found at a late stage.

Symptoms to look out for:

  • Pain in the tummy
  • Feeling bloated
  • Difficulty eating and feeling full quickly
  • Needing to pass urine more urgently or frequently

I am worried, what should I do now?

Testing for ovarian cancer is usually carried out after a consultation with a gynaecologist. A transvaginal ultrasound is the best diagnostic tool for ovarian cancer. Other investigations can include a physical examination, CT, MRI and blood tests.

Miss Neela Mukhopadhaya runs Women's Health clinics at Spire Harpenden Hospital, dedicated to helping women who are concerned about their health. 

If you are concerned about ovarian cancer or any other gynaecological matters, Miss Mukhopadhaya’s Women's Health clinics could help put your mind to rest.

Event Booking Form


Marketing Information

Spire would like to provide you with marketing information about products and services offered by Spire and by selected third-party partners. If you do not consent for us to process your personal data for marketing activities, we will still be able to contact you about your enquiry.

We may contact you by email, SMS or phone about your enquiry. If we try to contact you by phone (mobile and/or landline) and you are not available, we may leave you a voicemail message. We may also use your details to contact you about patient surveys we use for improving our service or monitoring outcomes, which are not a form of marketing.