WORLDWIDE — While for most women, it’s just an inconvenient side effect of eating too much or that time of the month, but new research says, don’t necessarily write it off as either.
Target Ovarian Cancer, a UK-based ovarian cancer nonprofit charity, in a new study found that 50 percent of women who suffer regular bloating are dismissing this key symptom of ovarian cancer as normal, and fail to seek medical advice as a result.
This could be life-threatening if ignored, and turned out to be cancer.
In the survey, women responded that when experiencing bloating, they’re more likely to eat probiotic yogurts, amend diets or start doing/do more exercise before seeking medical attention.
"Women should not be risking their lives because of the enduring awareness gap around the symptoms of ovarian cancer. If women know ovarian cancer symptoms such as persistent bloating and are able to link them to ovarian cancer early on, lives will be saved,” said Target Ovarian Cancer director Annwen Jones.
Along with persistent bloating, 3 key symptoms to be mindful of:
- Needing to urinate more frequently
- Feeling full quickly and/or loss of appetite
- Pelvic or abdominal pain (your tummy and below)
“Before I was diagnosed I was experiencing all of the symptoms of ovarian cancer, including bloating. I thought that maybe I might have irritable bowel syndrome because there are similar symptoms. I’d even tried going gluten free, but it had made no difference. The idea of cancer hadn’t even entered my head. You just never dream this is going to happen to you,” said ovarian cancer patient Laura Everley, 38.
According to the American Cancer Society, about 14,070 women will die from ovarian cancer a year.
Early detection generally results in a better outlook. When diagnosed and treated in stage 1, the five-year relative survival rate is 92 percent, meaning those diagnosed will live at least another five years or more. Unfortunately, only about 15 percent of ovarian cancers are diagnosed in stage 1.