It’s time to ‘ovary-act’ to beat killer

Ovarian cancer: know the symptoms


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'NOW IS THE TIME TO ACT': Ovarian Cancer Australia chief executive Jane Hill.

'NOW IS THE TIME TO ACT': Ovarian Cancer Australia chief executive Jane Hill.

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It's Australia's deadliest women's cancer, but do you know the symptoms?

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  • Four Australian women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer every day
  • Three Australian women will die every day from the disease
  • One in 10 Australians knows someone who has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer

AUSSIES are being urged to “ovary-act” this month, to raise awareness of the country’s deadliest women’s cancer.

February is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. The disease has the lowest survival rate of any women’s cancer with more than 1,600 women are diagnosed every month.

Only 45 per cent of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer will survive five years post diagnosis – well below the average for all cancers in Australia.

Ovarian Cancer Australia chief executive Jane Hill said now is the time for Australians to act.

“Each day, four Australian women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer and three will die – that’s almost 100 women every month,” Ms Hill said.

Now is the time for Australians to ovary-act. This disease is taking our mothers, daughters, wives and sisters. It’s not going away. - Jane Hill, Ovarian Cancer Australia CEO

“If found in its early stages, women have an 80 per cent chance of being alive and well after five years. Unfortunately, 75 per cent of women are diagnosed in advanced stages.

“Now is the time for Australians to ovary-act. This disease is taking our mothers, daughters, wives and sisters. It’s not going away.”

With no early detection test, a key focus for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month is to educate people on the signs, symptoms and risk factors.

Only half of Australians know that ovarian cancer exhibits symptoms.

Symptoms can include abdominal or pelvic pain, increased abdominal size or persistent abdominal bloating, the need to urinate often or urgently and feeling full after eating only a small amount.

KNOW THE SYMPTOMS: Infographic from www.ovariancancer.net.au

KNOW THE SYMPTOMS: Infographic from www.ovariancancer.net.au

If these symptoms are new and persistent for women they should visit their doctor.

“Women who may be at higher risk of developing ovarian cancer include those over the age of 50, those who have never had children or had children later in life, those who suffer from endometriosis and those who began puberty early or menopause late,” Ms Hill said.

Show your support

Want to help? Here’s how. Why not host a Paint the Town Teal fundraising event during February.

“Throw an afternoon tea, a long lunch, a golf day or a gala dinner. Anything goes, as long as it’s teal, the international colour for ovarian cancer,” said Ms Hill. Details: www.paintthetownteal.net.au 

You can also show support by buying and wearing a teal ribbon, particularly on February 27, Teal Ribbon Day for $3 from Terry White Chemmart pharmacies and Black Pepper stores nationally, as well as from www.ovariancancer.net.au

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