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GPs in the Vale of York urge women to “Be clear on Ovarian Cancer”

Doctors in the Vale of York are supporting a regional campaign to raise awareness of the early signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer. 

The Yorkshire Cancer Network’s ‘Be Clear on Cancer’ campaign will highlight the key symptoms of ovarian cancer, the fifth most common cancer affecting women, and one which is more common in those aged 50+ who have been through the menopause. 

Health professionals are targeting women in this age group and will be reminding women that:

If they suffer from:
• bloating, a lot of the time (most days, for longer than 3 weeks) they should see their GP as soon as possible.

They should also make an appointment if they have other symptoms too, like
• pelvic and abdominal (lower stomach) pain
• needing to pee urgently or more often and
• struggling to eat and feeling full quickly

There are approximately half a million women aged over 50 across North and West Yorkshire. Every year, around 259 cases of ovarian cancer are diagnosed in our region and around 145 women die of the disease.

Dr Joan Meakins, GP at Rawcliffe Surgery, Clifton, York is a spokesperson for the campaign. She said:
“If ovarian cancer is diagnosed early, the outcome for many patients is good. However it can be difficult to spot as symptoms are similar to other, more common conditions. Contrary, to popular belief, a smear test for cervical cancer will not detect ovarian cancer either. 

“It's really important to recognise the symptoms, and get to know your own body. If these symptoms are not normal for you, a visit to your doctor could save your life.” 

Dr Mark Hayes, Chief Clinical Officer at Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), is one of a number of GPs who will take on responsibility for commissioning health services such as cancer care from 1st April. He says:

“People often put off going to see their doctor because they don’t realise their symptoms are serious, are worried about wasting the doctor’s time or are embarrassed about the symptoms they’re experiencing.

“I would really encourage people to think beyond this and, if they’re experiencing any of the common symptoms, to seek advice from their GP. Quite simply, we want to see the number of women dying from ovarian cancer in our region reducing and the number seeking help and treatment at an early stage on the rise, as the sooner it’s picked up, the better the likely outcome.”

For further information contact the Communications Team for Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group on 0300 303 8394.

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