Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group

Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

In the UK, around 7,400 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year.

It’s the sixth most common cancer among women.

Ovarian cancer is most common in women who have been through the menopause (usually over the age of 50), although it can affect women of any age.

What are the symptoms?

As the symptoms of ovarian cancer can be similar to those of other conditions, it can be difficult to recognise. However, there are early symptoms to look out for, such as:

  • Increased abdominal size and persistent bloating (not bloating that comes and goes)

  • Pain in the pelvis and lower stomach

  • Difficulty eating and feeling full quickly

  • Needing to wee more urgently or more often than usual

Other symptoms include:

  • Back pain

  • Diarrhoa or constipation

  • Pain during sex

  • Persistent tiredness

  • Unexplained weight loss or loss of apetite

When to see your GP

It’s important to see your GP if you experience these symptoms, particularly over a long period of time.

Having symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean it’s cancer. But you won’t be wasting anyone’s time by getting it checked out and if it’s not serious, your mind will be put at rest.

Finding ovarian cancer early makes it more treatable. Women diagnosed in the early stages of ovarian cancer have a 90 per cent chance of surviving for more than five years, but this reduces to 22 per cent when diagnosed in the later stages.

A trip to your doctor’s surgery could save your life. And if a friend or relative says they have any of these symptoms, insist they see their doctor.

How to help yourself

Stop smoking

It's never too late to stop smoking. No matter what age you stop, it reduces your chances of developing ovarian cancer and makes a real difference to your health in general. There's plenty of support and help available from the NHS. Visit or call 0800 169 0169.

Look after yourself

If you are overweight you can lose weight by combining regular exercise and a calorie-controlled diet.

Stay active

Swimming, cycling, dancing - the more you can do, the better. Even walking to your local shops instead of taking the car can make a difference.

Eat healthily

Try to get your 5-a-day. So eat more vegetables, fruit, fish and wholegrain foods. Eat less fatty foods like cakes and pastries and few processed meats like bacon and ham.

Find out more 

Ovarian cancer - audio leaflet

Useful links

Ovarian Cancer Action 

Ovacome Ovarian Cancer

The Eve Appeal

Target Ovarian Cancer

Cancer Research UK: ovarian cancer

NHS website: ovarian cancer







Contact Somerset CCG by phone or email

01935 384000


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