Ovarian cancer check plea for women

Chloerissa EadieSouth Western Times

The diagnosis of ovarian cancer in 2013 was just the start of ongoing health complications for Bunbury mother of two Veniece Watts, who has come out the other side stronger and more resilient than ever before.

Mrs Watts’ message comes ahead of ovarian cancer awareness month in February.

She said there were no signs that led her to make an appointment to see the doctor, apart from her own instinct.

“At first they said it was a cyst on my ovary and they would go in through key hold surgery and take it out,” she said.

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“They did the operation and three weeks later called me to go in for my follow-up appointment.

“I thought there was nothing to worry about and then they told me I had stage two cancer and I would need a full hysterectomy.”

The operation was followed by six months of chemotherapy and she said the hardest part was losing her hair.

Since then she has had a double mastectomy to prevent breast cancer because her chances are higher after having ovarian cancer.

Mrs Watts’ message to women is to listen to their body and make sure to consult their doctor if any changes occur.

Cancer Council South West regional education officer Dianne Pope said the symptoms were similar to other cancers, including a swollen, bloated abdomen and tiredness.

Ms Pope said a screening for ovarian cancer was not available and raising awareness was important.

“It’s not detected easily because the symptoms could be a number of other things,” she said.

“Ovarian cancer awareness month is important, as we would like to know more about it and have a test for it.”

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