Catch it early and beat the odds

15th March 2019

Everyone dreads hearing the words “you have cancer” but with the constant breakthroughs in medical research it should no longer have the devastating impact it once had.

Thankfully more and more people are surviving cancer and that’s particularly the case if you catch it in its early stages.

March is both Prostate and Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and the aim for 2019 is to make everyone aware of the key symptoms of these two diseases.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer affecting men with 36,000 new cases each year. It’s often slow growing, particularly in older men.

Key symptoms include a need to urgently pass urine, having difficulty in passing urine and a need to pass urine more frequently especially at night.

Just because you have these symptoms doesn’t mean you have cancer, as men’s prostate glands get larger as they grow older anyhow, but it makes sense to get it checked out.

For women, ovarian cancer is one of the most common cancers with seven thousand new cases each year.

The key symptom to be on the look-out for is regular and persistent bloating most days for over three weeks. By regular and persistent we mean more than 12 times in a month.

Sometimes this symptom is mistaken for irritable bowel syndrome but if you’re experiencing this for the first time, particularly if you’re over 50, get to see your GP.

Also don’t be fooled into thinking that your smear test would have detected if you had ovarian cancer because it cannot check for this.

Remember your GP won’t think you’re wasting their time – you know your body best of all so get checked out if you think there may be something wrong.