This February is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.
This February is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.

LETTER: Gain the best prospects against ovarian cancer

THIS February is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month - a time for women to get familiar with the symptoms of ovarian cancer to give themselves the best prospects of beating the disease.

The month also provides an opportunity to increase awareness and support for the estimated 270 Queensland women who will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer this year.

Ovarian cancer is one of the hardest cancer to detect, and sadly remains the leading cause of death from gynaecological cancers.

There are currently no effective screening tests for ovarian cancer, so knowing the symptoms is critical to early detection. Symptoms include increased abdominal size or bloating, unexplained abdominal or pelvic pain, loss of appetite, unexplained weight gain or loss, back pain, indigestion, nausea or excessive fatigue.

Ovarian cancer is often diagnosed in women over 50, but all ages need to stay vigilant. Symptoms can be vague and similar to common illnesses, but when these symptoms are new, or have persisted for a few weeks, make an appointment with your general practitioner.

This Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, with your support, we will continue to invest in research and support for those affected in the local community, including carers and families.

In South West Queensland, each year around 20 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer and sadly, around 14 women die from the disease.

If South West Queensland women have questions or concerns regarding ovarian cancer, they should visit their GP or call Cancer Council's 13 11 20 for access to a comprehensive range of cancer publications, confidential support and referrals.

More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available via cancerqld.org.au or 13 11 20.

- Professor Jeff Dunn AO, chief executive officer, Cancer Council Queensland


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