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'Early diagnosis' needed for effective ovarian cancer treatment

Ovarian cancer

Ovarian cancer treatment would be far more effective if people were diagnosed earlier, according to a health commentator.

Annwen Jones, chief executive of Target Ovarian Cancer, has said that women who are diagnosed early have a 90 per cent chance of survival, but this drops "dramatically" as time goes on.

Part of the problem, according to Ms Jones, is that people are not aware of the symptoms, which is something she feels the Department of Health should do something about.

She said: "We want everyone – and especially GPs – to be as familiar with the symptoms of ovarian cancer as those of breast cancer."

In the Target Ovarian Cancer Pathfinder Study eight out of ten doctors wrongly thought women in the early stages of the illness showed no symptoms at all.

It is the amount of campaigning that has taken place regarding breast cancer that, in her view, has helped drop the mortality rate of the disease from 50 per cent to 20 per cent over 30 years.

Ms Jones commented that something similar is needed to boost ovarian cancer treatment as it is now the fifth most common cancer in women.

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Cancer treatment news : 31/08/2009