In Northern Ireland, around 165 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer every year. Ovarian cancer develops when cells in the ovaries begin to grow out of control and can invade nearby tissues or spread throughout the body.
Awareness of ovarian cancer is low, both among women and GPs, with two-thirds of women diagnosed once the cancer has already spread.
Signs and Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer
- Feeling full quickly while eating
- Pelvic or abdominal pain
- Urinary urgency or frequency
- Changes in bowel habits
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge
- Back pain
Ovarian cancer symptoms are not always easy to spot as they can be vague.
If you have any of the symptoms above and they happen on most days for 3 weeks or more, particularly if you’re over 50 or have a strong family history of breast or ovarian cancer, go to your doctor and get a check-up.
Always see your doctor if you have:
- symptoms that are unusual for you
- symptoms that don’t go away