March 15, 2021
Symptoms first clue to ovarian cancer
The organiser of a petition calling for more action on ovarian cancer says women need to become aware of the symptoms so they can take action earlier.
The steps of parliament will be covered with 180 white crosses this afternoon when the petition is delivered to symbolise the number of women who died over the past year from the cancer.
Tash Crosby of Talk Peach Gynaecological Foundation says Māori and Pasifika women experience higher incidence and mortality of ovarian cancer.
She says 85 percent of cases are picked up at a late stage when treatment options are limited, so knowing the main symptoms is important.
"The first would be persistent bloating, so not bloating that comes and goes. There's lower back pain, fatigue, pain during sex. There's changes in bowel habits, so constipation or diarrhoea, and frequency or urgency of a need to pee are probably the main signs and symptoms," she says.
Tash Crosby says there is almost nothing spent here on awareness and research, and unlike in Australia there are no national guidelines to diagnose ovarian cancer.
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