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Gynaecology, Patient information
15th March 2022  •  Read 0 times

Ovarian Cancer: Symptoms & Diagnosis

March brings us Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, a chance to highlight the importance of being aware of key signs and symptoms and when to reach out for help. We spoke with Consultant Gynaecologist, Miss Pushpa Maharajan, and who shares her expertise on the subject below.

How common is ovarian cancer and who does it affect?

In the UK there are around 7,500 new ovarian cancer cases every year. As a result, this has made it the 6th most common cancer. Ovarian cancer accounts for 4% of all new cancer cases in females in the UK (2016-2018). Each year more than a quarter of all new cases in the UK are diagnosed in females aged 75 and over. It is also estimated that this particular cancer is more common in White women than Asian or Black women (2016-2018).

What are the symptoms of ovarian cancer?

Most women have very few symptoms, however, the red flag symptoms to look out for are:

  • Lower abdominal or pelvic pain
  • Pain during sex
  • Pain related to your bowels
  • A feeling that you want to pass urine more frequently
  • A change in appetite or feeling full quickly
  • A distended (swollen) abdomen

How is ovarian cancer diagnosed?

Currently there is no recommended test to diagnose ovarian cancer. However, it is crucial that women are aware of the key symptoms and report to their GPs or clinicians when they present with these symptoms. Usually, an ultrasound with a blood test called CA125 is carried out as a baseline investigation. Further tests, such as CT and MRI scans, are carried out if any abnormality is detected.

General awareness of the symptoms is crucial. Looking out for these symptoms, alongside early investigations and interventions helps to save lives.

Who to contact when experiencing symptoms?

If you’re worried about any of the above signs and symptoms, do not hesitate to book an appointment with Consultant Gynaecologist, Miss Pushpa Maharajan. Call our team today on 01442 331 900 or use the contact form here.

References: 

Ovarian cancer statistics | Cancer Research UK 

pi-ovarian-cancer.pdf (rcog.org.uk) 

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About the author
Ms Pushpa Maharajan

Consultant Gynaecologist/Obstetrician

Ms Maharajan is an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist employed by the Luton and Dunstable University Hospitals NHS Trust. She completed her Diploma in Obstetrics and Gynaecology in Madras Medical College (India). She later trained in Oxford deanery and has worked in various teaching hospitals in the Oxford region. She specialises in Colposcopy, General Gynaecology, Minimal access surgery, Out-patient Hysteroscopy and Gynaecology scanning. Areas of particular interest include Colposcopy, hysteroscopic/laparoscopic surgeries, menstrual disorders and benign gynaecological conditions.

She specialises in seeing patients with general gynaecology problems, fibroids, heavy periods, vulval disorders, vaginal problems, menopausal problems, prolapse, chronic pelvic pain, and ovarian cyst in her outpatient clinic

For more videos by Ms Maharajan, click here.

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