Information about ovarian cancer

Did You Know ?

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• 7,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the UK each year

• Cervical screening tests - sometimes known as smear tests - will not help to detect ovarian cancer

• Some of the symptoms of ovarian cancer are similar to those seen in more common conditions, like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) so GPs may find it hard to diagnose

• Most cases of ovarian cancer are diagnosed in women who have gone through ‘the change of life’ or menopause. This means that most cases are in women over the age of 50 but younger women can also get ovarian cancer

Target Ovarian Cancer wants to help women across the UK learn about ovarian cancer and raise awareness of the symptoms.

The sooner ovarian cancer is diagnosed, the easier it is to treat. Survival can be over 90% for women diagnosed at the earliest stage of ovarian cancer. That means that nine out of ten women will survive for five or more years.

But for GPs to be able to spot a possible case of ovarian cancer, women need to learn to recognise the symptoms and go to see their doctor as soon as possible.


Last reviewed: February 2013

Next Review: February 2014

What is ovarian cancer?

How cancer develops, and the different types of ovarian cancer.

Symptoms of ovarian cancer

Symptoms are frequent and persistent, yet often mistaken for conditions like irritable bowel syndrome. Learn which ones should always be reported to your doctor.

Risk factors

In the UK 1 in every 50 women will develop ovarian cancer during their lifetime. Discover what affects your personal risk level.

Diagnosing ovarian cancer

From blood tests and scans to surgery. Find out what is involved in diagnosing ovarian cancer.

Ovarian cancer in families

If you have two or more close relatives who have had ovarian, or ovarian and breast cancer, you should discuss your family history with your doctor.

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