Ovarian cancer is currently the sixth most common cancer in women, affecting around 7,300 women per year. The earlier ovarian cancer is diagnosed and treated, the better the chances of survival. Unfortunately, it is recognised that once the cancer has spread to other areas of the body, it is impossible to cure.
According to a recent BBC article, scientists from Cardiff University are one step closer to defeating ovarian cancer and, potentially, other types of cancer.
The team managed to reprogram a respiratory virus and “trained” it to target a specific marker protein which is unique to certain cancer cells, allowing the virus to destroy them without invading healthy cells. During the laboratory tests, the reprogrammed virus successfully identified and destroyed ovarian cancer cells.
Although this sounds like a very exciting and promising advancement and may be a major breakthrough in cancer treatment, it will take several years for it to be officially tested and implemented.
However, being aware of the symptoms below is incredibly important, as early detection may significantly increase the success of currently available treatments and therefore survival rates.
Common ovarian cancer symptoms to look out for include:
- feeling constantly bloated
- a swollen tummy
- discomfort in your tummy or pelvic area
- feeling full quickly when eating
- needing to pee more often than normal
Other symptoms of ovarian cancer can include:
- persistent indigestion or nausea
- pain during sex
- a change in your bowel habits
- back pain
- vaginal bleeding – particularly bleeding after the menopause
- feeling tired all the time
- unintentional weight loss
According to the NHS website, the symptoms aren’t always easy to recognise because they are similar to those of some more common conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome. However, should you experience any of the above for a prolonged period of time, contact your GP urgently.
Although we are very excited about the new possible treatment and hope that it contributes to saving thousands of lives, there are still too many cases involving the late diagnosis of ovarian cancer and far too many deaths due to delay in diagnosis.
Hugh James is ranked in the top tier for our expert clinical negligence advice by both major legal guides Chambers and Partners and Legal 500. If you, or anyone that you know, have suffered an injury as a result of the delay in diagnosing cancer then simply get in touch with us using the phone or envelope buttons on this page.