While we don’t want to spend our entire lives in a whirlwind of hypochondria, diagnosing each and every unusual symptom we experience as a life-threatening illness, it does pay to be aware of symptoms that could indicate something serious.
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Ovarian cancer affects 7,300 women in the UK alone every year, according to statistics from Targeting Ovarian Cancer, with 11 women dying from the disease every day, so it’s important we’re aware of the symptoms.
However, of 1,000 women surveyed, just 1% knew that needing to urinate more frequently was actually a symptom of ovarian cancer. Katherine Pinder, deputy director of services at Target Ovarian Cancer, explains: ‘Needing to wee more often or more urgently – and indeed, all of the symptoms of ovarian cancer – can occur because a mass in the abdominal area is pushing on the surrounding organs, including the bladder. This is similar to what happens when a woman is pregnant and may need to wee more.’
There are, of course, plenty of other reasons you might be going to the toilet more frequently than normal – if you’ve upped your water intake, for example, or if you’re unknowingly suffering from a condition such as diabetes. But just being aware that there’s a small chance your increased visits to the loo might mean you’ve got ovarian cancer, especially you’re displaying other common symptoms, could encourage you to seek the medical help you need.
The other three key symptoms of ovarian cancer you need to look out for are:
1. Persistent bloating (not bloating that comes and goes)
2. Feeling full quickly and/or loss of appetite
3. Pelvic or abdominal pain (your tummy and below)
If you experience one or more of these symptoms and you’ve never experienced them persistently before and they don’t subside, visit your GP.
From: Good Housekeeping UK