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Women in Wales more likely to change diet than get cancer symptom checked

24 Feb 2023 2 minute read
Key symptoms of ovarian cancer are being overlooked by women in Wales

Over half of women in Wales would change their diet before contacting their GP if confronted by a key symptom of ovarian cancer, according to a new survey.

Research carried out by cancer charity, Target Ovarian Cancer, found that women may be inadvertently putting themselves at risk of delayed diagnosis by choosing to trial probiotic yogurt, cutting out gluten, or even a new diet regime, instead of speaking to their GP about persistent bloating.

The charity found that over half (51%) of women in Wales would make a change to their eating habits if they experienced persistent bloating, whereas less than one in three (29%) would contact their GP.

Target Ovarian Cancer has warned this is due to an alarmingly low level of awareness for ovarian cancer symptoms.

Previous research by the charity showed that just 1 in 5 women can name persistent bloating as a symptom of ovarian cancer.

Annwen Jones OBE, Chief Executive of Target Ovarian Cancer said: “These findings are extremely concerning, and provide further evidence that there remains an awareness crisis in ovarian cancer.

“Target Ovarian Cancer won’t accept that 11 women die every day from ovarian cancer in the UK.

“Not when survival rates in other countries are so much higher. And not when we can do something about it right now.

“We know that early diagnosis increases the chances of survival and knowing the symptoms is vital to achieving this.


The charity is now calling on the government to invest in awareness campaigns so that everyone knows the potential significance of persistent bloating – alongside abdominal pain, feeling full quickly and needing to wee more often.

Kate Mitchell, 43, was diagnosed late with ovarian cancer and was left with limited treatment options available to her.

She said: “If I had understood the symptoms of ovarian cancer a bit better, I may have gone to my GP, and I wouldn’t have been diagnosed with stage IV ovarian cancer in A&E.”

March marks Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and Target Ovarian Cancer is urgently campaigning for a dramatic improvement in the earlier diagnosis of ovarian cancer.

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