04:54AM, Monday 14 January 2013
A pilot project in east Berkshire has launched today to urge women to see their GP if they show the potential symptoms of ovarian cancer.
The campaign, run for the Department of Health by the Thames Valley Cancer Network, is aimed at women aged over 50 who account for eight out of 10 cases of ovarian cancer.
The aim is to detect the cancer earlier, which increases the chances of survival and can significantly reduce the intensity of treatment, making recovery quicker.
The key symptom to look out for is an unexplained bloated feeling that occurs most days for three weeks or more. If this happens you should see your doctor.
As part of the campaign a team of health activists will encourage women to overcome a common reluctance to see their doctor, because they don't realise their symptoms are serious, they worry about wasting the doctor's time or are embarrassed.
Thames Valley Cancer Network's clinical lead for the pilot project Professor Sean Kehoe said: “Survival rates are better than they used to be, but we could do so much more if we were always able to intervene early.
"The great majority of women will survive if their cancer is diagnosed before it spreads."