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Be clear on ovarian cancer symptoms and improve your chances of survival
Tuesday 18th February, 2014

Women across Wigan Borough are being encouraged to look out for symptoms, which could be a sign of ovarian cancer.

Wigan Council is supporting the national ĎBe Clear on Cancerí ovarian cancer awareness campaign, recently launched by Public Health England and running until March 16, the campaign aims to educate women about the signs of ovarian cancer.

There are around 33 new cases of ovarian cancer in the Wigan Borough each year and 19 local women will die from the disease, but this neednít be the case. Knowing what to look out for could save lives. Women should see their doctor if they have felt bloated most days for three weeks or more. The chances are itís nothing to worry about, but it could be a sign of ovarian cancer.

More than 90 per cent of women diagnosed with the earliest stage of ovarian cancer survive for at least five years. This figure drops sharply to around five per cent for women diagnosed at the most advanced stage.

Director of Public Health for Wigan Council, Professor Kate Ardern, said: ďIt is incredibly important for women to be aware of ovarian cancer symptoms. The earlier the disease is diagnosed the more treatable it is. The message to women in Wigan is if you feel bloated, most days, for three weeks or more, tell your doctor.

Around 500 lives could be saved in England each year if survival rates for ovarian cancer matched the best in Europe and one way of achieving this is through earlier diagnosis and recognition of symptoms.

Symptoms consist of, bloating most days for three weeks or more, feeling full quickly or loss of appetite, pelvic or stomach pain, needing to urinate urgently or more frequently than normal, changes in bowel habit, extreme fatigue or feeling very tired regularly and unexplained weight loss. If you experience any of these symptoms seek medical advice from your doctor.

Wigan Council is proud to have recruited cancer champions who are trained to have conversations about early signs and symptoms of cancer with people in the borough, cancer champions speak to people in the workplace, family and friends and encourage people who notice something unusual to visit their GP. Our champions are drawn from all walks of life, which includes cancer survivors, or people whose lives have been touched by cancer as well as community group members.

To find out more about the regionís cancer championís ring the Health Improvement team on 01942 404237.

For more information on the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer, please visit www.nhs.uk/persistentbloating.

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