Ovarian and Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

The very word “cancer” strikes fear into the hearts of many of those who hear or read that very word. Statistically the chances of being diagnosed with cancer during our lifetime is a staggering 1 in 2. In other words 50% of the population are likely to have some form of cancer at any time.

I have already written about my past experience with Pancreatic Cancer which has a 94% mortality rate.  I was initially diagnosed in the USA, although I subsequently had my tumour removed in the UK, followed by exemplary post-operative care and ongoing monitoring, and here I am 4 years later in excellent health and able to share my experience. I believe the more we talk openly about any cancers can only serve to raise awareness and remove the stigma that is attached to the word itself.

The ISU is committed to promulgating information about health-related matters on a regular basis on our website. You might ask why? The answer is that we take the wellness of our members most seriously. This is first of a series of articles on health and wellbeing in which we will provide some information in addition to signposting members to sites where they can obtain more details and the contact details of organisations which can provide assistance as appropriate.

Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

Did you know that Ovarian Cancer is the 6th most common cancer in women? 7,300 women in the UK are diagnosed every year. That equates to 20 per day! 1 in 52 women will be diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer in their lifetime. 60% of women are diagnosed at a late stage. The good news is that 90% of cases are curable if detected early.

What are the most common signs & symptoms?

Bloating, a feeling of being full, pain, irregular bleeding and the urge to pee more frequently. If you have any/all of these it does not necessarily mean you have cancer. However, if your symptoms are:

Persistent: ie. they won’t go away

Frequent: ie. they occur most days

New: ie. they started in the past 12 months

Unusual: ie. not normal for you

You should make an appointment to see a medical professional as soon as possible.

Be aware, there is no National Screening Programme for Ovarian Cancer.