Women in Ireland Advised Not to Ignore Abdominal Changes

Posted on: 05 May 2017

Women in Ireland Advised Not to Ignore Abdominal Changes


With their BEAT Ovarian Cancer Campaign Breakthrough Cancer Research, OvaCare, the Emer Casey Foundation, SOCK and the Marie Keating Foundation are asking women across Ireland not to ignore the warning signs of ovarian cancer, a disease commonly known as a silent killer.


Breakthrough Cancer Research, OvaCare, Emer Casey Foundation, SOCK and the Marie Keating Foundation, today launched the BEAT Ovarian Cancer Campaign to highlight the key signs of the disease in the run up to World Ovarian Cancer Day on Monday, 8th May. Ovarian cancer is the 4th most common female cancer in Ireland. Approximately 361 women are diagnosed each year with 266 women losing their lives due to the disease.  


The BEAT Ovarian Cancer Campaign is advising women across Ireland that they can BEAT Ovarian Cancer by knowing their bodies, knowing the signs and getting help at an early stage if they have any of the following signs for three weeks or more:

  • Bloating that is persistent and doesn’t come and go   
  • Eating less and feeling full more quickly
  • Abdominal and pelvic pain you feel most days
  • Then talk to your GP about your symptoms


The symptoms of ovarian cancer can be confused with other illnesses. However, the key difference is that these symptoms are persistent and do not come and go. The BEAT campaign is encouraging women to be aware of changes in their stomach, pelvis and abdomen and to speak to a GP where they are concerned.


June Feeney, co-founder of OvaCare, an Irish charity established to improve diagnosis and education of ovarian cancer within Ireland, states “It is vital that every woman should know the BEAT symptoms.  At OvaCare, the women we support are among the greatest advocates you will find for this disease.  Living with ovarian cancer themselves, they want their voices and experiences to be heard so that other women will learn the symptoms.  We are thankful to be celebrating WOCD and wish for anyone feeling alone on this journey to know that our support is always here for them”.


Professor Seamus O’Reilly, consultant medical oncologist at the Cork Mercy, South Infirmary Victoria University and Cork University Hospitals, echoes June’s sentiment, “Local GPs, armed with referral guidelines, are best placed to help patients determine if their symptoms are of concern and warrant referral for further investigation. Early diagnosis is the key for successful ovarian cancer treatment. Therefore, it is important that you listen to your body and pay attention to any signs or symptoms you might be aware of”.


Click on he image to see our short animated BEAT Ovarian Cancer video:


Symptoms can be similar to other conditions, which can lead to late stage diagnosis and has led to the disease being known as the ‘silent killer’. While there have been many advances in the diagnosis and treatment of many other cancers, ovarian cancer has had little improvement in its prognosis over the last 20 years.


Principal Investigator at Cork Cancer Research Centre, Dr Sharon McKenna, states, “It is only through increased awareness for earlier diagnosis and research for new treatment options that changes in the prognosis of ovarian cancer will take place. We hope that through our research into ovarian cancer we can impact on the lives of women who are diagnosed with this form of cancer.


To raise awareness on World Ovarian Cancer Day free public events will be held in Dublin and Cork on Monday, 8th May:

  • Dublin: Lunchtime Free Seminar on Ovarian Cancer in the Science Gallery, Dublin between 1 – 2 pm. RSVP shotoole@tcd.ie
  • Cork Event: Evening Free Seminar on Ovarian Cancer in the Western Gateway Building on Western Road, between 6-7.30pm. Tours of Cork Cancer Research Centre available after the seminar. RSVP jill@breakthroughcancerresearch.ie


World Ovarian Cancer Day is being promoted in Ireland by three Ovarian Cancer charities Supporting Ovarian Cancer Knowledge (SOCK), OvaCare, the Emer Casey Foundation along with Breakthrough Cancer Research and the Marie Keating Foundation. These charities are being joined by national organizations, INNOVATION, the National Cancer Registry, the National Cancer Control Programme, the Irish Society of Gynaecological Oncology, Trinity College Dublin and the Irish Cancer Society.


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