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Harrogate Mum Raises Awareness Of Ovarian Cancer

Jo Beagley

4:15pm 14th March 2017

Do you have persistent bloating; stomach pain; are you finding it difficult to eat; feeling full more quickly; or needing to wee more often? When do you act on these symptoms? For many women, the answer can be as long as 15 days.

New research from Ovarian Cancer Action reveals that women prioritise their children’s, partners, parents and even their pet’s health before their own and often ignore the symptoms of ovarian cancer.

And it’s not just the delay of seeking medical advice, research findings included that one in four wrongly think a smear test detects ovarian cancer, when in fact, smear tests only detect cervical cancers.

The charity is encouraging women to be more aware of the symptoms of the disease as part of Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, which takes place throughout March.

The awareness campaign is being backed by mum-of-two Jo Beagley, from Harrogate, who was diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer at the age of 39 in 2014.

Jo said: ‘I had been feeling relatively well on the run up to my diagnosis’

‘I just didn’t have the awareness that ovarian cancer even existed’

‘As someone who was still their late 30s, I just didn’t think it was an illness that somebody like myself was at risk of getting. ‘She added.

This comes as thousands of women at risk from ovarian cancer are being offered hope of new test to detect the condition in its early stages – before it becomes more difficult to treat effectively.

Currently, women identified as being at high risk are offered the choice of invasive surgery or waiting until symptoms appear – symptoms which are very hard to spot. However, the latest results from the trial of a new method of screening offers the chance of another choice.

We chatted to Athena Lamnisos, Chief Executive of leading gynecological cancer research charity The Eve Appeal, about the initial outcomes of the research, and investigated the why the awareness of ovarian cancer is simply not wide enough.

You can read Jo's blog about her experiences after being diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer here

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