Every year in the UK, around 7,500 people are diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Unfortunately many of these are diagnosed at a late stage, once the cancer has spread. There is currently no screening programme for ovarian cancer, which makes symptom awareness so critically important in improving early diagnosis.
In the UK, March is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. This provides an important opportunity to shine a spotlight on ovarian cancer and its symptoms, ensuring that more people become aware of the signs of the disease.
The B.E.A.T. acronym is to help people remember the most common symptoms of ovarian cancer. B.E.A.T. is now used by organizations across the world.
B is for bloating that doesn’t come and go
E is for eating difficulty and feeling full more quickly
A is for abdominal and pelvic pain you feel most days
T is for toilet changes, in urination or bowel habits
- Only 1 in 5 women know that bloating is a symptom of ovarian cancer
- Only 1 in 100 women know that needing to wee more often is a symptom
- 4 in 10 women wrongly believe that cervical screening detects ovarian cancer