01 March 2018
Suffering in silence could be killing you!
That is the warning being given out as part of Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month that will run throughout March.
It is the fourth most common cancer amongst women in the UK with more than 7,000 women diagnosed each year and 4,300 deaths annually* yet early detection can lead to successful treatment for many sufferers.
But because symptoms are not well known or often mistaken for ‘tummy troubles’ or period pains, it is usually discovered in the late stages when successful treatment is much more difficult.
Ms Kavita Singh, a Consultant Gynaecologist and Gynae-oncologist at Spire Parkway Hospital in Solihull, said: “Far too many women are dismissing the symptoms for too long before going to see their GP.
“Unfortunately there is not always a specific symptom and the symptoms could be subtle so it is difficult to spot. This can contribute to GPs sometimes suspecting Irritable Bowel Syndrome as the problem.”
Now Ovarian Cancer charities are urging women to be constantly on the lookout for possible symptoms – and to act on them sooner rather than later.
“When women are diagnosed in the early stages of ovarian cancer they have a 90% chance of surviving for more than five years but this reduces to even less than 40% when diagnosed in the later stages so it is important they know what symptoms to look for and that they make their GP aware of those symptoms as soon as possible.
“My advice to any woman suffering from any of these symptoms is to go to their GP and discuss the matter thoroughly. Women must feel confident that when they visit their GP with any of the symptoms mentioned above they will be examined with the possibility of ovarian cancer in mind,” said Ms Singh.
The four main symptoms to look out for are:
- Persistent bloating or increased stomach size
- Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly
- Needing to urinate more frequently
- Persistent stomach pain
How quickly could I have a consultation, and how much would it cost?
It depends on the availability of the consultant you wanted to see, but we pride ourselves on getting you fast access to diagnosis and you can often get a consultation within 24 to 48 hours. Initial consultation fees vary by consultant, but between £175-£250 is a reasonable guide.
If I need surgery, how quickly could I have it?
We have no waiting lists at Spire Parkway, but again it depends on the availability of the consultant you wanted, but as a guide, and subject to your pre-operation assessment, between one and two weeks.
I don’t have health insurance, can I self-pay?
Yes, you can. Our self-pay team can talk you through this and explain the finance options that are available, should you wish to explore them. Call 0121 704 5530, or submit an enquiry online.
*Figures from Cancer Research UK