The RPS is supporting Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, saying that pharmacists have a ‘vitally important’ role to play in the early detection of cancer by raising awareness of the signs and symptoms in patients, some of whom may be self-medicating for unrecognised symptoms.
Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month runs throughout March, and a range of support materials can be downloaded from www.targetovariancancer.org.uk
The RPS also offers a variety of information about ovarian cancer and the advice to offer patients. You can find out more at www.rpharms.com/public-health/cancer-awareness.asp.
Key symptoms of ovarian cancer are persistent pelvic and abdominal pain, increased abdominal size and/or persistent bloating, difficulty eating and feeling full more quickly. This means women often buy diuretics or medication for IBS before they receive a diagnosis. “When a woman is diagnosed at the earliest stage, her chance of surviving ovarian cancer for five years or more doubles from just 46 per cent to more than 90 per cent,” says the RPS.