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Ovarian cancer is a disease that can disrupt the normal function of the ovaries. If it’s left unchecked, it can affect other parts of the body too.

Ovarian cancer occurs when abnormal cells within the ovary start to multiply, creating a tumour. But it’s important to note that not all tumours are cancerous.

Non-cancerous tumours are called benign tumours. This means they don’t usually spread to other parts of the body. They may need treatment but they’re rarely life threatening.

Malignant ovarian tumours are cancerous and can be life threatening.

It’s important to catch cancers early because they can grow large enough to engulf most of the ovary and spread to other parts of the body too.


What are the symptoms of ovarian cancer?

What out for these ovarian cancer symptoms:

  • Persistent stomach pain
  • Persistent bloating
  • Finding it difficult to eat or feeling full quickly
  • Needing to empty your bladder more often


Other symptoms you may notice include:

  • Back pain
  • Changes in your bowel habits (diarrhoea or constipation)
  • Feeling tired all the time


If your regularly experiencing these symptoms on most days it's important to talk to your GP as soon as possible. 


To learn more about the symptoms of ovarian cancer you can download ovarian cancer action leaflet.


What is my risk of developing ovarian cancer?

A range of factors can affect your risk of developing ovarian cancer. All women in the UK have a 1 in 54 chance of developing ovarian cancer so it is rare.

  • Family History

If 2 or more relatives from the same side of your family have had ovarian cancer under the age of 50  or there have been more than 1 case of ovarian and breast cancer in your family you may have a higher risk of developing ovarian cancer yourself. 


Ovarian, womb, colon, bowel o stomach cancer are in your family also can increase your risk.


  • Getting Older

As you age your risk of developing ovarian cancer increases and most ovarian cancer cases occur in women over the age of 50 years. However, some types of ovarian cancer do appear in much younger women. 


Other risk factors include:

  • Obesity
  • Long menstrual history
  • Endometriosis
  • Oestrogen-only hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
  • Smoking


To find out more about ovarian cancer visit  ovarian-cancer-action-logo.png


We offer a range of services that can help with detection of ovarian cancer.







Information referenced from ovarian cancer action.