We use National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE)-compliant symptom guidance, and we ask all journalists to do the same. It's important that we ensure the public has an accurate and consistent list of the symptoms of ovarian cancer.
Ovarian cancer is not silent
Please do not refer to ovarian cancer as ‘the silent killer’. To increase early diagnosis, we need to challenge the myth that the symptoms of ovarian cancer can’t be spotted until the later stages. Women with early stage disease do have symptoms.
With no screening test for ovarian cancer, a woman's route to diagnosis is key to her survival. However, each year over a quarter of women with ovarian cancer are diagnosed following an emergency presentation such as Accident and Emergency.²³ ²⁴
Most cases occur in women who have already gone through the menopause (around 50 years old). However, over 1,000 young women each year do develop ovarian cancer – which is why all women should know the symptoms.
Over a thousand women each year develop ovarian cancer because they have inherited a faulty gene mutation (from either their mother’s or father’s side of the family), for example the BRCA1 and 2 genes.