Women holding hands supporting ovarian cancer diagnosis

Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

The arrival of March marks the start of Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Approximately 7,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year, making it one of the biggest gynaecological killers of UK women.1 Spreading wider awareness of the disease to both women and GPs, is incredibly important to improve detection and treatment, in order to save lives.

What is ovarian cancer?

Ovarian cancer is cancer arising from the cells in and around the ovary and fallopian tube.

What can I do to support Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month?

There are various ways in which you can support ovarian cancer research, including a whole host of fundraising events taking place throughout the month that you can get involved in.

Support events will also be running across the country for ovarian cancer patients and survivors, focusing on the emotional and psychological effects of diagnosis.

Visit the official Target Ovarian Cancer website for more information on the community events in your local area, plus ideas for hosting your own fundraising event.

What symptoms should I look out for?

It’s important to be aware of your health and check in with your body from time to time to take note of any symptoms that you may experience that are out of the ordinary. If you experience any one or more of the symptoms below regularly (also listed on the Target Ovarian Cancer website), it is important that you see your GP. It is unlikely that your symptoms are serious, nevertheless it is important to get checked out.

Symptoms of ovarian cancer include

  • Persistent bloating – not bloating that comes and goes
  • Feeling full quickly and/or loss of appetite
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain (that’s your tummy and below)
  • Urinary symptoms (needing to wee more urgently or more often than usual)

Occasionally there can be other symptoms:

  • Changes in bowel habit (e.g. diarrhoea or constipation)
  • Extreme fatigue (feeling very tired)
  • Unexplained weight loss

Any bleeding after the menopause should always be investigated by a GP.

Symptoms will be frequent (more than 12 times a month), persistent and new symptoms that are not normal for you. Visit the Target Ovarian Cancer website and ovarian cancer support charities, Ovacome, The Eve Appeal or Grace Gynae-oncology Charity for more information on diagnosis and tips for seeing your GP.

Sexual intimacy after any cancer diagnosis and treatment can be a challenge and is often unexpected due the immediate necessity to treat the disease. However it can be very distressing to find that at a time when you need comfort and reassurance from a partner, your body does not respond as it used to and you experience vaginal dryness and pain during intercourse. You can read an excellent article on this subject here written by Samantha Evans who is an ex nurse and founder of Jo Divine Adult Store. Organic lubricants and moisturisers can help to restore comfort and confidence after cancer treatment.


[1] https://www.targetovariancancer.org.uk/ovarian-cancer-information-and-support