South Antrim MLA Pam Cameron MLA has used World Cancer Day to raise awareness of the ‘silent killer’, ovarian cancer.
Mrs Brown said ovarian cancer’s symptoms are frequently mistaken for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) with further symptoms often not presenting themselves until the disease has become advanced.
“March is Ovarian Cancer awareness month and I would urge every woman to make themselves aware of the symptoms which include Continuous Abdominal Bloating; Eating Less but Feeling Full Quicker; Abdominal Pains; Urinary Problems; Extreme Fatigue; Change in Bowel Habits; Pain during Intercourse,” Mrs Cameron said.
She added: “A common misconception is that routine cervical screening will detect ovarian cancer, this is not the case. Ovarian Cancer is only detected by a dedicated blood test.
“If you have any of the symptoms above and they happen on most days for three weeks or more, particularly if you are over 50 or have a strong family history of breast or ovarian cancer, do go to your GP and request a C-125 blood test.
“It should be remembered that younger women should not be complacent as the disease can strike at any age.”
Mrs Cameron also praised the bravery and selflessness of women like Una Crudden, who as a sufferer of ovarian cancer is doing so much to raise awareness of this terrible illness.
“Women like Una are an inspiration to us all but rather than merely offer words of support it is important to recognise that early detection is the key and I hope that Una’s legacy will be to raise awareness and help to potentially save the lives of many women,” Mrs Cameron added.