Trust dispels cancer myths

Debbie Curwen, associate nurse in gynae oncology at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

Debbie Curwen, associate nurse in gynae oncology at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

Have your say

A hospitals trust is out to dispel fatal misconceptions about ovarian cancer - and hopes women from Fleetwood and Wyre will get the message.

Many women believe ovarian cancer has no symptoms until it’s in the final stages.

However, this is not the case.

Ovarian cancer used to be known as the silent killer due to this belief. It meant many women would be showing symptoms without even realising it and would dismiss them as just irritations.

Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is now dispelling the myth by making women more aware of the early symptoms.

Women should seek advice if they suffer from one or more of the following symptoms for more than three weeks, especially if accompanied by extreme fatigue: weight loss, back pain, changes in bowel habit or rectal bleeding.

These other symptoms include persistent bloating, abdominal swelling, pelvic or abdominal pain, feeling full quickly or loss of appetite.

Julie Fothergill, 52, from South Shore, Blackpool, didn’t spot any symptoms at first, but saw her GP following a complaint of sharp pains.

Her cancer was detected by an ultrasound and treatment was started immediately.

She underwent surgery and treatment and was followed up regularly in clinic. Unfortunately, the cancer returned, but it was detected early and a further operation performed.

She is currently undergoing treatment.

Julie said: “Once I was diagnosed and in the system everything happened so quickly and efficiently.

“The symptoms are easy to miss or overlook, but I would say to all women; if in doubt get it checked out.”

Ovarian cancer is the fifth most common form of cancer and is the fourth most common cause of cancer-related death in women.

Debbie Curwen, associate nurse in gynae oncology at Blackpool Vic, added: “We are committed to the early diagnosis, and we have systems in place that will fast track referrals from the GP to the team here at Blackpool Vic.”