East: Ovarian Cancer Pilot

18 July 2012, 05:00

A new campaign to raise awareness about the symptoms of ovarian cancer is being piloted in Suffolk and Norfolk.

The Department of Health has announced that the East Anglia Cancer Network will be part of an ovarian cancer symptoms awareness pilot, as part of its national programme, Be Clear on Cancer. The programme will mean that early next year, residents in Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire will have the opportunity to increase their awareness of ovarian cancer, leading to earlier diagnosis and treatment for women in the region with the disease.

Target Ovarian Cancer's chief executive, Annwen Jones, says: "This is an important development and one that will genuinely save lives. Currently only 1% of women in the East of England are very confident of spotting a symptom of ovarian cancer, demonstrating the desperate need for a national awareness programme. We look forward to seeing the initial pilot outcomes during 2013 and hope a national campaign will follow soon after.

Target Ovarian Cancer has been campaigning tirelessly for this step, with evidence from our most recent Pathfinder Study revealed that ovarian cancer symptom awareness amongst woman has not improved since 2009, reinforcing the need for a large scale campaign.  We first urged the government to act to increase awareness of the disease in 2009, and in 2010, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Ovarian Cancer was formed."

Marianne Flack from Lakenheath in Suffolk was diagnosed with ovarian cancer 5 years ago:

Marianne Flack Speaks To Heart's Holly Jones About Ovarian Cancer

Symptoms of ovarian cancer:

Symptoms of ovarian cancer are frequent (generally occurring more than 12 times a month) and persistent, and include:

·         A persistent swollen tummy/abdominal distension

·         Difficulty eating/feeling full

·         Pelvic or abdominal pain

·         Increased urinary urgency and/or frequency

Other symptoms can include unexpected weight loss, change in bowel habits, and extreme fatigue.

If you regularly experience any of these symptoms, which are not normal for you, it is important that you see your GP. It is unlikely that your symptoms are caused by a serious problem, but it is important to be checked out.

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