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Miss Moneli Golara, a Consultant Gynaecologist at Highgate Private Hospital urges education around the symptoms for early diagnosis and encourages women to take the time to learn the symptoms of cancer. Education can make the difference between a successful outcome or an unmanageable disease, she argues.
“Ovarian cancer is known as the ‘silent killer’”, Moneli Golara comments. “Symptoms of the cancer often present at late stages of the disease because the symptoms are very subtle and vague. The common symptoms to look out for include feeling bloated and feelings of indigestion – women often complain that their clothes are getting tight around their waist. As the warning signs are much more subtle than other cancers and diseases, the disease very commonly presents at the late stages and mostly presents when other organs have been affected due to the spread of disease.
“It is for this reason that greater education for all women – young and old, those with a medical history and those without – should be made a priority. It’s not enough to know the prevalence rates women need to know the basic symptoms and keep an eye on any changes.
“Too often women ignore their symptoms thinking they are trivial or of no importance, and do not seek help in a timely manner. I would advise women not to ignore symptoms and to seek advice. All is needed is a pelvic scan and a blood test to rule out this condition. However we have no test to predict who will get this, and if we leave any symptoms unchecked it could leave room for tumour development.”
Speaking on women’s risk, Ms Moneli Golara continues: “If there are any other family members with ovarian or breast cancer or if there is a family history of BRCA gene positivity then women are at greater risk and should be especially tuned in to the symptoms of ovarian cancer. Also, not having children or having children later in life or fertility treatment can be risk factors.
Golara concludes, “As treatment for the cancer, surgery and chemotherapy are the first line of management. Yet unfortunately there has been no significant improvement in survival figures due to the fact that the disease presents itself in advance stages, so prevention rather than treatment should be the first priority”.
Many women will benefit from our drop-in clinic for their gynaecological health. Through the hospital’s Women’s Health clinic, women who are concerned about Ovarian Cancer will be offered a consultation with a Gynaecological Consultant, a pelvic examination with 3D or 4D ultrasound and a blood test in addition to a much wider range. For more information please click on the following link and make an appointment today.