An Uckfield woman who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer 10 years ago, is spreading the word about the symptoms of the disease for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month this March.
Just one in five women over 50 can name bloating as a key symptom of ovarian cancer, and Gillian Luis-Ravelo, aged 55, has joined Target Ovarian Cancer to Start Making Noise about the symptoms.
The campaign, running throughout March, will help more women be diagnosed earlier and save lives.
The symptoms of ovarian cancer are:
* Increased abdominal size/persistent bloating
* Difficulty eating/feeling full
* Pelvic or abdominal pain
* Needing to wee more urgently or more often
Other symptoms can include unexpected weight loss, change in bowel habits, and extreme fatigue.
Anyone experiencing these symptoms, and they are not normal for them, should see their GP.
Gillian, who was diagnosed in June 2007 with grade 3C ovarian cancer, was one of the lucky ones and is fit and healthy, nearly 10 years on. She said: “I am committed to raising awareness for the disease because not enough people know about the symptoms, as some symptoms can be attributed to less serious conditions.
“I didn’t know I had ovarian cancer, I just felt bloated and at 45 thought I might be going through the early stages of the menopause.
“It is important that all women, and their male relatives and friends, and GPs are made aware of the symptoms so that they are able to get the right advice and treatment as early as possible.”
Target Ovarian Cancer works to improve early diagnosis, fund life-saving research and provide much-needed support to women with ovarian cancer.
To join the charity fundraising this March, visit www.targetovariancancer.org.uk/March
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