Getting a second opinion: Why it's important
Ovarian cancer frequently misdiagnosed
Doctors confusion leads to avoidable deaths
A survey by the charityTarget Ovarian Cancerquestioned British GPs and found that 80% mistakenly thought women with early stages of ovarian cancer had no signs of the disease.
And of 1,000 women polled, only 4% said they could ‘confidently identify’ symptoms of the disease.
Target Ovarian Cancer said that if women are diagnosed with the disease at an early stage,90%could survive.
A spokesman for the Royal College of GPs, however, said it was ‘extraordinarily difficult’ to diagnoseovarian cancerin the early stages.
The survey of GPs also found that almost three-quarters of the GPs were unaware of Department of Health guidelines, outlining thesymptomsdoctors should watch for and published in February.
Symptoms includepersistent painin the pelvic region or stomach, increased abdominal size,persistent bloatingand difficulty eating or feeling full quickly.
When the GPS were asked to pick out potential symptoms, 51% correctly identified ‘increased abdominal size’ as the most important symptom, but less than 2% picked out ‘difficulty eating’ or ‘feeling full’. The early signs of ovarian cancer can be confused with those of irritable bowel syndrome, and women are often sent for gastric tests. But by the time it is realised this is not the cause, thecanceris often very advanced.
Video: Screening for Ovarian Cancer
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