Diagnosing Ovarian Cancer Before It Takes Hold

8th, July 2013

Pierce Brosnan’s daughter, Charlotte, sadly passed away last week at the age of 42 after a 4 year-long battle with ovarian cancer.

Pierce Brosnan’s daughter, Charlotte, sadly passed away last week at the age of 42 after a 4 year-long battle with ovarian cancer.

This is the same disease that claimed the life of her mother, Cassandra, 22 years ago at the similar age of 43.

Speaking about the loss of his daughter, Pierce Brosnan said, “Charlotte fought her cancer with grace and humanity, courage and dignity. Our hearts are heavy with the loss of our beautiful dear girl.”

Sadly, ovarian cancer claims the lives of around 4,295 women each year, representing 2.7% of total cancer deaths (In the UK).

Ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cancer of females in the UK and in 2010 there were over 7,000 new cases in the UK. The main cause of ovarian cancer is now known to be the harmful mutation of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. These genes can be inherited and greatly increase the chances of developing breast cancer in men and women as well. Recently, actress Angelina Jolie had an operation to remove both breasts due to her inheritance of the harmful genes.

Men and women with close relatives who have suffered from ovarian or breast cancer are encouraged to have themselves tested as early as possible to detect the gene. This is also party due to the subtleness of the symptoms, these include: bloating, abdominal and pelvic pains, difficulty eating and possibly urinary symptoms.

However advances in treatment for the cancer and increased awareness have greatly improved the chances of survival. Survival from ovarian cancer has almost doubled over the last 30 years. Around 43% of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer survive the disease for at least five years after treatment.

Oscar winning actress, Kathy Bates, was diagnosed with the disease in 2003. It scared the usually fearless, outspoken female into silence and she hid the news out of fear. However she began treatment and, since beating the disease, has spoken of her admiration for other cancer battlers and the importance of support around her.  “Seeing women with bald heads, brave enough to be there and be themselves – was very moving to me”. Bates’ defeat of the disease and subsequent recovery (she is currently in total remission) highlights the importance of spotting the disease early.

Diagnosing ovarian cancer early can help to make treatment more effective. If you have any concerns and would like to be seen urgently; you can make an appointment with 3fivetwo Healthcare’s Consultant Gynaecologists who will be able to give you peace of mind and advise you on treatment options if needed.

If you would like more information about the services we have or would like to book an appointment, please call us on 0845 6006 352


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