Would it be beneficial to have a national registry of when women with ovarian cancer first start noticing symptoms? Current stats only report the age which many women are diagnosed, but noting when symptoms start might prevent women being dismissed as ‘too young’ to have ovarian cancer.
Target Ovarian Cancer is campaigning for better data on ovarian cancer and this is certainly something we can look at as part of our work in this area.
Although there is not currently a national registry on this there is existing data on how long it takes for women to get a diagnosis. Target Ovarian Cancer’s Pathfinder research looks at how many times women visit their GP before being referred for diagnostic tests. We know that currently 41 per cent of women report visiting their GP three times or more.
The most important way of ensuring that women presenting with symptoms are referred for diagnostic testing is by ensuring GPs are trained to diagnose ovarian cancer at its earliest possible point. Target Ovarian Cancer has developed online training for GPs on the symptoms of ovarian cancer and diagnostic tests, and since launch we have trained over 20,000 GPs.