DOCTORS and women are missing vital signs of ovarian cancer and denting survival rates, experts warn.
Around 7,500 women in the UK are diagnosed with ovarian cancer every year but many cases could be picked up earlier.
A survey by Target Ovarian Cancer found at least two thirds of women don’t know tell-tale symptoms such as bloating, tummy pain, feeling full or needing the toilet often.
The charity said GPs are not referring patients early enough because symptoms are too vague or similar to stomach troubles.
It warned women are “being failed by an awareness crisis”.
Chief executive Annwen Jones said: “Knowing the symptoms is crucial for everyone.
“We need to make large government-backed symptoms campaigns a reality.
“If we do this, fewer people will be diagnosed late, fewer will need invasive treatment, and ultimately, fewer will die needlessly from ovarian cancer.”
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A survey of 1,000 women found just one out of five (21 per cent) knew bloating was a possible sign of a tumour.
Two thirds (68 per cent) did not know pain in the abdomen is a sign.
Another 97 per cent were unaware that always feeling full was a red flag.
And 99 per cent would not think needing to wee more often could be the disease.
The survey also found a growing number of women – 40 per cent compared to 31 per cent in 2016 – wrongly believe cervical smear tests check for the illness, but they actually look for cervical cancer.
The report comes as the NHS is desperate for people with possible cancer symptoms to come forward with thousands going undiagnosed during the pandemic.
Dr Victoria Barber, a GP in Northamptonshire, said: “Symptoms do appear early on in ovarian cancer, and your GP wants to hear from you if you’re experiencing any of them.
“It’s vital that GPs are knowledgeable on ovarian cancer and know how to advise patients who have concerns.”
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