February is

Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

February is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month in Australia

Did you know:

  • Ovarian Cancer is the deadliest of all women’s gynaecological cancers with 2 out of 3 women not surviving the disease
  • 1 in 70 women develop ovarian cancer in their lifetime
  • There is no screening programme or vaccine for Ovarian Cancer so most women will not be diagnosed until their cancer is at an advanced stage

Statistics:

  • Every 10 hours, a woman in Australia dies of Ovarian Cancer
  • One in 70 women develop ovarian cancer in their lifetime; 1400 of these women will be Australian
  • Many women believe a Pap Smear will test for Ovarian Cancer. It doesn’t.
  • Out of the 1400 Australian women diagnosed every year, only 20% of these women will survive for longer than five years, compared to Breast Cancer which has an 80% survival rate

Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer may include:

  • Abdominal pressure, fullness, swelling or bloating
  • Pelvic or abdominal discomfort or pain
  • Vague but persistent indigestion, gas or nausea
  • Changes in bowel habits, such as constipation
  • Loss of appetite or quickly feeling full
  • Increased abdominal girth or clothes fitting tighter around your waist
  • A persistent lack of energy
  • Lower back pain
  • Frequency and/or urgency of urination in the absence of an infection
  • Unexplained weight gain or weight loss
  • Ongoing unusual fatigue

If symptoms persist for more than a few weeks, ask your doctor for a combination pelvic/rectal exam, CA-125 blood test, and transvaginal ultrasound. A Pap Smear test WILL NOT detect Ovarian Cancer.

For more information or to find out how you can help support this charity visit www.womenscancerfoundation.org.au

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