One per cent of women are aware that needing the toilet more is a symptom of ovarian cancer, a new survey has found.
A poll conducted by Target Ovarian Cancer revealed that common symptoms of the disease, such as abdominal pain and feeling full, went unrecognised as such by most English women.
Just one fifth of the 1,000 women surveyed identified frequent bloating as a symptom.
If you experience these symptoms frequently i.e. more than 12 times a month, the charity advises you to see your GP.
The poll also found that three in 10 women believe that cervical screening tests will accurately diagnose the condition.
However, the charity hopes to raise awareness of the common symptoms that women can spot themselves so that sufferers can get the help they need as quickly as possible.
Each year, there are approximately 4,100 deaths from ovarian cancer in the UK, according to data conducted for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, which took place in March 2016.
Despite being the fourth most common type of cancer in women – after breast, lung and bowel cancers – the average GP will see just one case of ovarian cancer every five years.
Given the commonality of the symptoms, the majority of sufferers don’t receive an accurate diagnosis until it is too late.
Just four per cent of women are confident that what they’re experiencing is an ovarian cancer symptom.
Funding for new research relating to the disease has dropped drastically in the last five years (by 34 per cent), despite incident rates rising.
In light of this, Target Ovarian Cancer has launched a three-year campaign, named Take Ovar, which aims to transform the lives of the 25,000 British women living with ovarian cancer and those who have yet to be diagnosed.
“There is an urgent need to increase research efforts and avoid the impending time bomb that women face in ovarian cancer,” says Target Ovarian Cancer chief executive Annwen Jones.
“Great improvements have been made in other women’s cancers – more women than ever survive breast cancer, and we have national screening and immunisation programmes for cervical cancer. Yet no similar innovation has been made in ovarian cancer, which kills more women every year than any other gynaecological cancer.
“There is chronic underfunding in ovarian cancer compared to other cancers. Enough is enough. We must act to transform the lives of women with ovarian cancer now, before it’s too late.”