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March 2017 is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and a time when Soroptimists are able play an important part in raising awareness about one of the five most common cancers to effect women.
Far too often Ovarian Cancer goes undiagnosed until it has reached an advanced stage, spread to other organs with poor treatment outcomes.
We are in an ideal position to make women in our local communities aware of the signs and symptoms; with our support, we can encourage more women to seek early medical help leading to diagnosis being made sooner and lives saved.
When a woman is diagnosed at the earliest stage, her chance of surviving ovarian cancer for five years or more doubles from just 46 per cent to more than 90 per cent.
Currently there is no evidence that the introduction of a screening programme would be effective meaning it is vital for women to know the symptoms of ovarian cancer. Research by the charity Target Ovarian Cancer shows only three per cent of women feel confident about naming an ovarian cancer symptom. As Soroptimists we can play our part in helping to change this
Sustainable Development Goal 3 states we must “Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages”; promoting awareness of the symptoms of Ovarian Cancer leading to early diagnosis is a clear indication of how as Soroptimists we can help make this goal a reality in practice
Symptoms are frequent (they usually happen more than 12 times a month) and persistent, and include:
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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