A new study has made a startling discovery: a significant number of women do not know enough about ovarian cancer.
A survey involving over a thousand people from 44 countries has revealed the public's ignorance of the eighth leading cancer among women around the world. The survey also suggested that many doctors also do not have enough knowledge about the disease.
Ovarian Cancer Awareness
The World Ovarian Cancer Coalition, a non-profit support group, surveyed women who have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. The survey took place from March to May 2018 and involved women from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Japan, Germany, and other countries. A total of 37 clinicians also contributed to the study.
Prior to the diagnosis, two-thirds of women surveyed have not heard of ovarian cancer or know its name but were ignorant about the disease.
The result comes as a surprise because ovarian cancer is the eighth most commonly occurring cancers in women and 18th most common cancer around the world, according to the World Cancer Research Fund. An estimated 300,000 women are expected to be diagnosed with the disease in 2018. One in six would die from complications related to ovarian cancer within three months after diagnosis.
The study also highlighted the number of doctors who do not know enough about ovarian cancer to provide information such as available treatment after diagnosis. A lot of the clinicians surveyed admitted that they lack awareness of symptoms of ovarian cancer among women.
Ovarian Cancer: Symptoms And Diagnosis
The key to the treatment of ovarian cancer is an early diagnosis. The disease causes symptoms such as unusual vaginal bleeding (especially after menopause), pain or pressure in the pelvis, and changes in bathroom habits.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, middle-aged women or older are at risk of ovarian cancer. A pap smear could not detect the disease that is why it is important for women to consult their doctors as soon as they experience symptoms.
The study also found that nine out of 10 surveyed women experienced a symptom of ovarian cancer prior to their diagnosis, but less than half consulted their doctors within a month. One in 10 women waited more than six months to talk to their doctors after experiencing their symptoms.
The study and its findings were published on the website of the World Ovarian Cancer Coalition.