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WOCC 2020 6 (2)

World Ovarian Cancer Day 8th May – a timely reminder not to ignore symptoms

In the midst of the global pandemic, Ireland’s foremost ovarian cancer experts are advising women across Ireland not to ignore the warning signs of ovarian cancer.   World Ovarian Cancer Day is a global movement bringing women living with ovarian cancer, their families and supporters, patient advocacy organisations, medical practitioners and researchers together each year on the 8th May to raise awareness of ovarian cancer. While we are all out of our normal routines because of the COVID-19 health emergency, we still need to listen to our bodies.  Early diagnosis and treatment of ovarian cancer are vital and Consultant Gynaeoncologist and National Cancer Control Programme lead for women’s cancer, Dr. Michael O’Leary is advising that – 

“Even in the midst of this pandemic, when health services are being severely tested, women should continue to listen to their bodies and consult with their GP if they have persistent bloating, abdominal or pelvic pain; changes in urination, bowel or eating habits including eating less and/or feeling full more quickly.  Symptoms of ovarian cancer can often be confused with other conditions such as IBS.  This is why it is important to seek help if you notice persistent changes.  Women with a family history of breast or ovarian cancer should be particularly vigilant.  Talk to your GP, describe new symptoms which are not going away and mention any family history.  GPs are there to help you and are not too busy to give you advice.”

The BEAT Ovarian Cancer Campaign focuses on knowing your body, knowing the signs and getting help at an early stage if you have any of the following for three weeks or more:

Bloating that is persistent and doesn’t come and go

Eating less and feeling full more quickly

Abdominal and pelvic pain you feel most days

Toilet changes in urination or bowel habits

The following organisations have come together to mark World Ovarian Cancer Day in Ireland – Breakthrough Cancer Research, Cancer Trials Ireland, East Galway and Midlands Support Centre, Emer Casey Foundation, Irish Cancer Society, Irish Society of Gynaecological Oncology, Karen Fenton Ovarian Cancer Fund, Lynch Syndrome Ireland, Marie Keating Foundation, National Cancer Control Programme, OvaCare, SOCK, St. James’ Hospital Foundation (GynaeCancerCare) and Trinity College Dublin.

Teal is the colour associated all over the world with the fight against ovarian cancer.  To mark World Ovarian Cancer Day and to provide a timely reminder to women in Ireland not to ignore the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer, the following buildings have generously agreed to ‘Light Up in Teal’ on 8th May – City Hall, Cork; Convention Centre, Dublin; East Galway and Midlands Cancer Support Centre, Ballinasloe, Co. Galway; Kilkenny Castle, National Concert Hall, Dublin; National University of Ireland, Galway; Pearse Lyons Distillery, Dublin; University College Cork.  If last year’s teal display at Cork City Hall is anything to go by, we are in for a visual treat on Friday evening!

Cork City Hall lit up in Teal on World Ovarian Cancer Day 8th May 2019