Would you recognise the symptoms of ovarian cancer?

2 May 2017
By Fashion Quarterly

ovarian cancer (h)

It’s important to know the tell-tale symptoms of this disease.

As women we’re acutely aware that early detection of breast cancer can lead to life-saving treatment, but how many of us are tuned into the symptoms of ovarian cancer?

The disease – often called the silent killer because it develops without warning – is the fourth most common cancer in women, and in New Zealand alone 350 new cases are diagnosed each year.

And sadly, because the cancer sometimes isn’t detected early enough, around 180 women here will die each year from the illness.

Although regular pap smears help detect cervical, endometrial and uterine cancers, there’s no screening test available yet for ovarian cancer.

Right now though, arming yourself with this checklist may help you to recognise the early symptoms of the disease. If you’re at all concerned, get yourself checked by your GP as soon as possible.

– Feeling bloated or swollen not associated with menstruation, and is usually worse after eating
– Difficulty eating, feeling full after eating a small amount of food
– Abdominal pain or pelvic discomfort that tends to be constant
– Fatigue
– Constipation, especially if this cannot be explained by a change in diet
– A need to urinate more often

The Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation (OCRF) continues to research the disease, and is working toward developing more sensitive testing that will enable doctors to pick up the illness much sooner.


Come Monday 8 May, the fashion industry will stand behind the OCRF through its annual White Shirt Day campaign. The day aims to raise awareness of the disease, as well as generate some much needed funds to help the OCRF.

Witchery OCRF Campaign 2017_Tahnee Atkinson

The campaign, which is in its ninth year, is supported by Witchery. The brand has not only designed a stunning collection of white shirts, including one men’s style, it has also added three pieces of silver jewellery to the range.

All White Shirt campaign purchases made through Witchery, excluding GST, will be donated to the campaign which has so far raised over $9.4 million.

Witchery has created a range of white shirts options ranging from a classic cotton cut to a silk bell-sleeve style.

For more information on ovarian cancer, visit the New Zealand Gynaecological Cancer Foundation website , or to discover more about the White Shirt campaign, visit www.ocrf.com.au.

Photos: Getty Images, Witchery


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