If you've been feeling bloated most days for the last three weeks, tell your doctor. Chances are it's nothing serious, but you're not wasting anyone's time by getting it checked out. Call your GP today.
Some symptoms may be caused by other conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS), which may still need treatment. But don't try to diagnose yourself. Go and see your doctor now to find out for sure.
Feeling bloated most days for three weeks or more can be a sign of ovarian cancer, which is why it's so important to see your doctor straight away. Early detection makes it easier to treat. Seeing your doctor could save your life.
My advice to anyone with persistent bloating is to take yourself straight to the doctor.
Lou Pescod, aged 65
Feeling bloated most days for three weeks or more is a common sign of ovarian cancer, but other symptoms include:
If you have any of these symptoms, see your GP as soon as possible. If you know anyone who has any of these symptoms, insist they see their doctor.
You're not wasting anyone's time by getting your symptoms checked out, and your mind will be put at rest if it's not serious.
At your appointment, your GP will gently feel your tummy (abdomen) and ask you about your symptoms, general health and whether there's a history of ovarian or breast cancer in your family.
They may carry out an internal examination and may take a blood sample or refer you for an ultrasound scan. You may also be referred to a specialist (a gynaecologist or gynaecological oncologist) at a hospital if further examinations and tests are needed.
Find out what to expect when you see your doctor – watch the video.
There are over 6,000 new cases of ovarian cancer in England each year. It causes more than 3,500 deaths in England annually, but this needn't be the case. Knowing what symptoms to look out for can save lives.
Most cases of ovarian cancer occur after the menopause. If you have two or more close relatives, on either your father’s or your mother’s side, who developed ovarian cancer or breast cancer, you may be at higher risk of developing the condition.
A healthy lifestyle can help you reduce your risk of ovarian cancer. Some ways to stay healthy are:
For more information on how to reduce your risk of cancer, visit nhs.uk/reduce-your-risk.
Content last reviewed: June 2016