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  1. ITV Report

Ovarian cancer: What are the symptoms?

Credit: PA

Ovarian cancer awareness is "woefully low" with "too many women dying too soon because they have been diagnosed too late", a charity has warned.

Very few women are able to identify the potential signs of the disease, Target Ovarian Cancer said, as they launched a national campaign to highlight the symptoms.

Each year in the UK 7,300 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer, with 4,100 dying from the disease.

"If we want to improve survival, it is vital that we improve awareness and we need to act now," said Annwen Jones, Chief Executive of Target Ovarian Cancer.

"We need to see national awareness programmes across the UK, and we're calling on governments and executives in Westminster, Cardiff, Holyrood and Stormont to make that happen."

What are the signs of ovarian cancer?

  • Abdominal bloating - this is the most common symptom
  • Stomach or pelvic pain
  • Difficulty eating or feeling full
  • Needing to urinate more often or urgently
  • Changes in bowel habit
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss

If you feel bloated most days over a three week period, or have any of the other symptoms listed above, the NHS advises making an appointment to visit your GP.

A healthy lifestyle can help protect against ovarian cancer, the NHS said, advising women to eat a healthy and balanced diet, exercise regularly, stop smoking, and cut down on alcohol intake.