Call for Wales wide awareness campaign on the symptoms of Ovarian Cancer
North Wales MS Mark Isherwood is supporting Target Ovarian Cancer’s call for a nationwide awareness campaign in Wales on the symptoms of ovarian cancer.
Over 300 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year in Wales and more women die as result of ovarian cancer each year in the UK than all other gynaecological cancers combined.
The earlier a woman is diagnosed the greater her chance of survival; 89 per cent of women diagnosed at the earliest stage survive for at least five years compared to just 2 per cent of women diagnosed at the most advanced stage.
In a bid to ensure that woman are aware of the symptoms to look out for, Mr Isherwood is writing to the Minister for Health and Social Services, Eluned Morgan MS, asking the Welsh Government to consider implementing the recommendations of the 2017 Senedd Petitions Committee Report calling for a public-facing ovarian cancer awareness campaign in Wales.
Mr Isherwood said:
“It’s vital that women are aware of the symptoms if ovarian cancer is to be diagnosed early. In Wales, only 15 per cent of women would make an urgent GP appointment if they were to experience the symptom of persistent bloating.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a drastic impact on urgent referrals for suspected cancer from GPs. This is extremely concerning as even before the outbreak of coronavirus, only 37 per cent of women with ovarian cancer in Wales were diagnosed at an early stage.
“I am supporting Target Ovarian Cancer’s call for a nationwide awareness campaign on the symptoms of ovarian cancer in Wales. Women need to feel empowered to go their GP as soon as they notice something is wrong. Awareness of the symptoms in Wales remains worryingly low, with just 17 per cent of women in Wales able to name bloating as a symptom of ovarian cancer and just 5 per cent of women would be able to name feeling full or loss of appetite as a symptom of ovarian cancer.”
“In 2017 the Senedd Petitions Committee produced a report calling for a public-facing ovarian cancer awareness campaign in Wales. To date there has been no specific awareness campaigns on ovarian cancer, despite there being low levels of awareness of the symptoms of ovarian cancer in Wales.
“I am therefore calling on the Health Minister to urgently consider implementing the recommendations of the 2017 Petitions Committee report. Every woman with ovarian cancer should have the best possible chance of survival, and we will only achieve this through educating women on the symptoms of Ovarian Cancer.”
The most common signs of ovarian cancer are:
- Using the bathroom more;
- Loss of appetite;
- Pelvic or abdominal pain.
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