In a surprising study, researchers have found quite a large number of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer were initially diagnosed with a different disease.
The charity, Target Ovarian Cancer, conducted a study wherein they found that almost half of women that have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer were initially misdiagnosed.
"They deserve better than this"
The researchers also found that 4 out of 10 patients with ovarian cancer had their symptoms dismissed by their doctors. The newfound study brings to light the importance of early diagnosis, especially when it comes to diseases like cancer.
Around 46% of the patients that had cancer were given tests for other diseases, and not for ovarian cancer. Annwen Jones from Target Ovarian Cancer, shares: "Women with ovarian cancer are being failed at diagnosis, in access to trials and effective drugs, and they lack support. They deserve better than this"
One-fifth of the sufferers who were aged 50 and above were told that they needed to seek treatment for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Official guidelines regarding ovarian cancer say that older women that have IBS should be tested for ovarian cancer.
Doctors continue to be unaware of the symptoms
The authors of the study shared, "Too many women continue to think cervical screening protects them against ovarian cancer and many have a false confidence in their ability to spot the symptoms of ovarian cancer."
They add, "Women continue to face repeat visits to their GP before being referred for diagnostic tests and many GPs still falsely believe symptoms only present themselves in the later stages of the disease and continue to be unaware of the importance of family history on both sides of the family."
This just goes to show that in some cases, it's always better to ask for a second opinion from another doctor, especially if you feel that your initial diagnosis is incorrect.
Go to the next page to learn more about preventing ovarian cancer.