March is the start of spring, where we all look to step out of the cold, blustery weather into sunnier climes (and stuff our faces with chocolate eggs, of course) – but it's also very important for another reason. March is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.
Every year in the UK over 7,000 women are diagnosed with this brutal disease, with some of the symptoms of ovarian cancer e.g. bloating and abdominal pain being so similar to those seen in more common conditions such as IBS, that it can be difficult to diagnose. This is why most women are not diagnosed until the disease has spread and sadly, of those women diagnosed, 4,200 will lose their battle with this brutal disease. That’s far too many mothers, daughters, sisters, partners and friends.
These are devastating statistics – and ones women’s cancer charities such as The Eve Appeal, the UK’s only gynaecological cancer charity, would like to change this March.
It's why we're supporting their important message to ensure you know the signs - and are keeping your lady bits in check.
The Eve Appeal have shown in their pioneering research into early detection and prevention that if ovarian cancer is diagnosed at an early stage; more often than not, the prognosis is good.
We want to ensure that this continues for women now and in the future – and you can help them do that by spreading awareness of the key signs and symptoms this March.
The key early signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer:
* persistent pelvic and abdominal pain
* increased abdominal size/persistent bloating - not bloating that comes and goes
* difficulty eating and feeling full quickly
* urinary symptoms - needing to pass water more often than usual
The Eve Appeal surveyed women across the UK to ask where they feel most comfortable discussing serious health concerns such as ovarian cancer, and unsurprisingly at home over a cup of tea with friends and family topped the list.
However, yet most startling is the fact that nearly a fifth of women surveyed didn’t feel comfortable discussing these concerns anywhere. There is clearly a job to be done here. We must empower women to speak up about their health concerns whether that is with a close family member or friend; or most importantly with a healthcare professional.
So please, this March, encourage all the women you know and love, to talk more openly about the key signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer – it could ultimately save their lives.
For more information about The Eve Appeal or ovarian cancer please visit eveappeal.org.uk.