A Lichfield consultant has urged women to act on any possible symptoms of ovarian cancer.
The disease is the fifth most common cancer among women in the UK with more than 7,000 diagnosed each year.
But consultant gynaecologist Dr Pallavi Latthe from Spire Little Aston Hospital has warned women not to dismiss potential systems as “tummy troubles”.
Speaking during Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, she 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 vague so it is difficult to spot which can contribute to GPs sometimes suspecting Irritable Bowel Syndrome as being the problem.”
More than 4,300 women die of ovarian cancer each year.
Dr Latthe said that while early diagnosis is crucial to successful treatment, it can be difficult to spot.
“When women are diagnosed in the early stages of ovarian cancer they have a 90% chance of surviving for more than five years,” she said. “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.
“The four main symptoms to look out for are:
“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.”