Region’s women to learn cancer signs

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south Yorkshire women could have a better chance of beating ovarian cancer when they take part in an awareness-raising pilot scheme beginning next year.

Patients will be taught to recognise early signs of the disease, increasing their chances of receiving early diagnosis and treatment.

Residents from North Derbyshire and Bassetlaw will also benefit from the scheme, part of the Department of Health’s national Be Clear on Cancer programme, after the North Trent Cancer Network was picked to take part in the pilot.

Annwen Jones, chief executive of the charity Target Overian Cancer, said: “This is an important development and one that will genuinely save lives. Currently only three per cent of UK women are very confident of spotting a symptom of ovarian cancer, demonstrating the desperate need for a national awareness programme. Symptom awareness has not improved since 2009, reinforcing the need for a large scale campaign.

“We look forward to seeing the initial pilot outcomes during 2013 and hope a national campaign will follow.”

Symptoms of ovarian cancer include a persistent swollen tummy or abdominal distension, difficulty eating or feeling full, pelvic or abdominal pain, increased urinary urgency or frequency, unexpected weight loss, a change in bowel habits and extreme fatigue.