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Ovarian cancer patient speaks out about the disease

Orla Stairmand is calling for more women to know about the symptoms of ovarian cancer Photo: ITV Border

An ovarian cancer patient in Dumfries and Galloway is speaking out about her experience to raise awareness about the disease.

Orla Stairmand was diagnosed 18 months ago, after developing a cough.

She visited her GP in Dumfries, who sent her for tests which confirmed the cancer.

Surgeons in Edinburgh removed the tumour and then Orla began treatment at Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary.

She says women need to listen to what their bodies are telling them.

The four main symptoms of ovarian cancer are:

  • Persistent bloating
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain
  • Feeling full or loss of appetite
  • Increased need for the toilet
Credit: ITV Border

This comes as new report issued by Target Ovarian Cancer, claims four out of five women can't name the killer symptoms.

It shows that just one in five women in England can name bloating as a key symptom to look out for.

Target Ovarian Cancer's report, Pathfinder England, also reveals that nearly half of GPs in the UK mistakenly believe that symptoms of the disease are only present in the later stages.

Following this, 64% of women are only being diagnosed once the disease has spread - when it is hardest to treat.

This makes UK survival rates from ovarian cancer among the worst in Europe.

Target Ovarian Cancer and women with ovarian cancer across England are now calling on government and health bodies to invest in research of the disease.

Analysis shows that money spent on ovarian cancer research in the UK has dropped by one third in the past five years.