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Ovarian cancer: 1 in 4 patients ‘see GP three times before referral for tests’

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More than a quarter of women with ovarian cancer saw their GP three or more times before getting a referral for tests, according to a new study.

Researchers also found that almost a third had waited for longer than three months after first going to see their GP before being given the right diagnosis.

If doctors are able to diagnose ovarian cancer at the earliest stage, nine out of 10 women will go on to live for five years or longer, but only around one in 10 survive if it is not caught until it has progressed to stage 4, the most advanced stage.

The report, by Target Ovarian Cancer, also revealed that 14 per cent of women polled said they were not given their diagnosis in private, meaning others could listen in on the exchange.

“I was told of my stage 4 diagnosis behind the curtain on a busy respiratory ward. The rest of the ward heard the conversation,” one woman said.

Meanwhile, GPs and ovarian cancer patients told researchers that the support available for the disease is insufficient – with almost half of the women polled not having been asked by a doctor, nurse or other individual providing treatment about how the cancer diagnosis was affecting their mental health.

This is despite the fact that 60% of the women diagnosed with ovarian cancer said their mental health had been harmed by the disease.

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Source: The Independent. 18 October 2022

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