As women, often we spend so much time looking after everybody else that we hardly have time for ourselves. If you suddenly developed worrying symptoms, would you even notice?

Last month was ovarian cancer month; often called the ‘silent killer’ as it is one of the deadliest cancers. It is vital that we educate ourselves about the health of our ovaries, and don’t delay getting checked out if we have any concerns.

According to the NHS, ovarian cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in women. Sadly, in the UK there has been a sharp rise in the number of women in their early 30’s, being diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and over half of the 7, 000 UK cases confirmed a year, are in women aged under 65.

71353026 - doctor talking to unhappy female patient in exam room - Ovarian Cancer: know the signs These stats show that we can no longer dismiss ovarian cancer as something we don’t need to worry about until we are older. With the prevalence of ever more younger women being diagnosed, it is important that we learn to recognise the symptoms.

According to a new study by BMI Healthcare, two thirds of women would not know what the key signs are for identifying the disease. In fact, the research has found that of the 20 women diagnosed a day in the UK, 60% are diagnosed late.

The symptoms for ovarian cancer are often very similar to less serious illnesses, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It’s all too easy to mistake a ‘constant feeling of bloating’ for common digestive problems or the period pains we endure every month. However, this is a key sign noted by the NHS, along with a swollen tummy, loss of appetite and discomfort in your tummy or pelvic area. Back pain, pain during sex and chronic tiredness are also common secondary symptoms. Other symptoms could be passing urine more often or abnormal bleeding.

The majority of stage one cases can be successfully treated, but when it comes to our health, knowledge truly is power, so learn the signs today.

For more information on when you should see your doctor, please click here.

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