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Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian Cancer AwarenessAnnually on the 8th May, it is World Ovarian Cancer Day.

Every year about quarter of a million women around the world are diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer and
140 000 women die of it, making it the cancer for women with the lowest survival rate.

Due to a widespread lack of awareness and the absence of early screening tests many cases of Ovarian Cancer are diagnosed late leading to ‘poor outcomes’.

It is estimated that only 45% of women with Ovarian Cancer are likely to survive for more than five years. (About 89% of Breast Cancer patients survive for five or more years).

5 Key Facts:

  • All women are at risk of Ovarian Cancer
  • Awareness of the early warning signs of the disease could save lives
  • Diagnosis at an early stage vastly improves a woman’s chance of survival
  • Ovarian Cancer is often diagnosed at a late stage
  • Many women mistakenly believe the cervical smear test (Pap test) will detect ovarian cancer


  • Increased abdominal size / persistent bloating (not bloating that comes and goes)
  • Difficulty eating / feeling full quickly
  • Abdominal or pelvic pain
  • Needing to pass urine more urgently or more frequently

See your family doctor if you have one or more of these symptoms and they last longer than 3 weeks. If you have a family history, speak with your doctor about genetic counseling.


About World Ovarian Cancer Day

The purpose of World Ovarian Cancer Day (WOCD) is to address this problem and to educate women and their communities about the risks, symptoms and screening of Ovarian Cancer.

The first WOCD was held in 2013. The genesis of the day was in 2009, when medical professionals got together for an international conference where they shared their experiences and struggles, while working with Ovarian Cancer patients.

How Can CANSA Help?

CANSA runs health programmes to educate women in local communities throughout SA, via our CANSA Care Centres, re cancers that affect them and to encourage awareness of symptoms & regular screening where possible.

Read our fact sheets about Ovarian, Breast & Cervical Cancer, including other cancers that affect SA women, on our Women’s Health web page…

How Can You Help?

Please share this post with your contacts this coming World Ovarian Cancer Day, on 8 May 2015.

Do you have a question?
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 0800 22 6622 Toll Free
 072 197 9305 English and Afrikaans
 071 867 3530 Xhosa, Zulu, Sotho and Siswati


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