One woman dies of ovarian cancer every two days in New Zealand. It's the fourth leading cause of cancer death in New Zealand women.
How do you spot its symptoms?
Ovarian cancer is a difficult cancer to diagnose because the symptoms are shared with a number of other health matters.
The NZ Gynaecological Cancer Foundation says the most frequent symptoms are: persistent pelvic and abdominal pain, Increased abdominal size / persistent bloating (not bloating that comes and goes) and d ifficulty eating and feeling full quickly
You may also notice: change in bowel habits, extreme tiredness, urinary symptoms and back pain.
A handy guide to remember is ‘BEAT’ ovarian cancer:
B is for Bloating (it is persistent and doesn't come and go)
E is for Eating (difficulty eating & feeling full more quickly)
A is for Abdominal (and pelvic pain you feel most days)
T is for Talking (tell your GP)
If you think you may have ovarian cancer, what should you do?
Make an appointment to see your GP. Your doctor will run a series of tests to determine if you have the disease, including a blood test, pelvic examination, scans and a biopsy.
No one test for ovarian cancer can tell the doctor if you have the disease.