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Consultant urges Lichfield and Burntwood women to look out for symptoms of ovarian cancer

Women in Lichfield and Burntwood are being urged to ensure they get symptoms of ovarian cancer checked out.

Consultant gynaecologist Pallavi Latthe, from Spire Little Aston Hospital, says many women often mistake symptoms for period pains meaning diagnosis is delayed and making successful treatment more difficult.

Her comments come ahead of Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month in March.

Pallavi Latthe

Pallavi Latthe

“Far too many women are dismissing the symptoms for too long before going to see their GP,” she said. “Unfortunately there is not always a specific symptom and the symptoms could be subtle so it is difficult to spot which can contribute to GPs sometimes suspecting Irritable Bowel Syndrome as being the problem.”

Ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cancer amongst women in the UK with more than 7,000 women diagnosed each year and 4,300 deaths annually.

Among the key symptoms for women aged over 50 are:

Persistent bloating or increased stomach size
• Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly
• Increased urinary frequency & urgency
• Persistent stomach pain
• Unexplained weight loss
• Changes in bowel habit

Mrs Latthe added: “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 they will be examined with the possibility of ovarian cancer in mind.

“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.”

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