Did you know that smear tests DO NOT screen for ovarian cancer. In fact there is NO reliable screening test available for ovarian cancer!
Don't feel bad...one research study states:-
More than half of women think a cervical smear test will detect ovarian cancer. [However] a cervical smear is designed to detect pre cancerous changes to the cervix, and it does not detect ovarian cancer.
Wow! Scary thought?!
So what can you do?
- Know the symptoms.
- Be aware of your body.
- Notice changes that aren't normal for you.
- Visit your GP if you are concerned.
- Be persistent - regardless of your age and family history!
I was diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer at 30 years old and I DO NOT have a BRCA gene mutation. I exercised daily, never smoked, rarely drank and I ate healthy non processed, gluten free food.
Cancer does not discriminate!
What symptoms should you look out for?
- Persistent bloating.
- Eating less and/or feeling full faster.
- Abdominal pains.
- Needing to pee more often.
- Change in bowel habits.
What were my symptoms?
- Abdominal pain.
- Needing to get up to pee a couple of times a night.
- Weight gain.
- Sugar cravings.
Looking back, I had all of these symptoms for over two years.
The survival rate of a woman with a stage four ovarian diagnosis like mine is low. In fact, just 18% of us will survive five years.
In contrast 46% of women diagnosed at an earlier stage are still alive after five years.
Think about that for a minute.
That is some difference in life expectancy.
How different could my story have been if there was more awareness about ovarian cancer symptoms made publically available...
Don't let my diagnosis be in vain. Be the Change. Save lives.
- Listen to your body.
- Take control.
- Don't become a statistic.
By sharing this blog post with your friends, family and loved ones together, just maybe, we can ensure ovarian cancer receives the attention it deserves.
Together we can educate women.
Together we can empower women.
Together we can save lives.
Love and light, Fi xxx
You can read more about my journey with Ovarian Cancer on my personal blog.
Fiona also writes regular blogs about thriving with stage four Ovarian Cancer for Ovarian Cancer Action and Women's Health. She has raised awareness through numerous press releases and national social media campaigns.