Four in five women in Ireland are not confident of spotting a symptom of ovarian cancer
Ireland has one of the highest death rates from ovarian cancer in Europe.
New research commissioned by the Irish Network for Gynaecological Oncology (INGO) showed 94% of those surveyed could not name changes to appetite as a symptom of the disease.
97% of those surveyed did not know that a change in toilet habits and an increase in the need to urinate as a symptom. More than 50% didn’t realise that changes in bowel habits could be a sign of the disease and only a half recognised pain and bloating as a symptom.
The research by Behavior and Attitudes, commissioned by the network involving specialists, patients and advocates comes in advance of World Ovarian Cancer Day, which takes place next Sunday.
Gynaecologist Donal Brennan, at the Mater Hospital and St Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin, said it is important women understand symptoms of the disease because there is no screening test for it.
“Cervical smears are not used to detect ovarian cancer. If the symptoms persist for three weeks or more you must contact your GP. It is also worth checking out isgo.ie as there is lots of information and very helpful resources there.”