Ovarian cancer 'postcode lottery'

'Postcode lottery' for ovarian cancer means THREE TIMES fewer women are being diagnosed with treatable forms of the killer disease in some NHS trusts The cancer kills almost 90% of women whose disease is stage four, data shows Survival rates are higher when the cancer is caught early, at stage one or two Just 21.8% of diagnoses are early at NHS North East Essex CCG, an audit shows In comparison, the rate is three times higher (62.9%) at NHS Islington CCG 

By Stephen Matthews Health Editor For Mailonline

Published: 00:02 GMT, 9 January 2020 | Updated: 01:08 GMT, 9 January 2020

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Three times fewer women are being diagnosed with early stage ovarian cancer in some NHS trusts because of a 'postcode lottery'.

The disease, often branded a 'silent killer', kills almost 90 per cent of women who are told their cancer is stage four, figures show.

Survival rates are much higher when the cancer is caught early, when the tumour is small has not spread to surrounding tissue.

But an audit of care has today revealed a stark difference in the number of women diagnosed at stages one or two across England.

Just 21.8 per cent of women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer early at NHS North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

In contrast, the rate is 62.9 per cent at NHS Islington CCG, according to the analysis by Target Ovarian Cancer. 

Just 21.8 per cent of women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer early at NHS North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). In contrast, the rate is 62.9 per cent at NHS Islington CCG, according to the analysis by Target Ovarian Cancer

Just 21.8 per cent of women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer early at NHS North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). In contrast, the rate is 62.9 per cent at NHS Islington CCG, according to the analysis by Target Ovarian Cancer

The disease, often branded a 'silent killer', kills almost 90 per cent of women who are told their cancer is stage-four, figures show

The disease, often branded a 'silent killer', kills almost 90 per cent of women who are told their cancer is stage-four, figures show

Annwen Jones, chief executive of the charity, said: 'There are differences in ovarian cancer early stage diagnosis across England. 

'This can be due to a range of factors including how promptly women go to their GP and are referred for tests and how long it takes to carry these out. 

'In some areas there is also a lot of data missing, meaning we can’t be sure what the actual level of early diagnoses is. 

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'We would like this to be further explored so that we can end these variations in early diagnosis.'

Cary Wakefield, chief executive of Ovarian Cancer Action, said 'Diagnosing ovarian cancer at the earliest stages is crucial.

'But sadly as we gather data it is clear that a postcode lottery exists around the country, with some areas diagnosing significantly more patients early than others. 

WHAT ARE COMMON SYMPTOMS OF OVARIAN CANCER?

The most common symptoms of ovarian cancer are:

Feeling constantly bloated A swollen tummy Discomfort in your tummy or pelvic area Feeling full quickly when eating, or loss of appetite Needing to pee more often or more urgently than normal

Other symptoms can include:

Persistent indigestion or nausea Pain during sex A change in your bowel habits Back pain Vaginal bleeding – particularly bleeding after the menopause Feeling tired all the time Unintentional weight loss

'We want to see all patients diagnosed early enough to get treatment and survive this disease, no matter where they live.'

More than 7,000 women get ovarian cancer each year in the UK, while the figure is closer to the 22,000 mark in the US. 

The disease is notoriously difficult to spot due to vague early symptoms, including bloating and loss of appetite.

Campaigners warn that many women are 'fobbed off' during multiple visits to their GPs before receiving their diagnosis.

Last year, the Government set the NHS a target to diagnose three quarters of cancer cases early within ten years.

But currently just 33 per cent of women with ovarian cancer are diagnosed at stage one or two. 

Professor Sudha Sundar, president of the British Gynaecological Cancer Society, urged CCGs to record their data better.

Data was missing for more than a quarter of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer for some health boards. 

Professor Sundara added: 'Today's report shows significant regional variation in diagnosis and survival for ovarian cancer across England.   

SO, HOW MANY WOMEN ARE DIAGNOSED EARLY IN YOUR AREA? CLINICAL COMMISSIONING GROUP TOTAL DIAGNOSED STAGE 1 OR 2 % EARLY STAGE 3 OR 4 % LATE NHS North East Essex CCG 124 27 21.77% 97 78.23% NHS East Surrey CCG 46 11 23.91% 35 76.09% NHS Buckinghamshire CCG 140 34 24.29% 106 75.71% NHS South Devon and Torbay CCG 125 32 25.60% 93 74.40% NHS Richmond CCG 54 14 25.93% 40 74.07% NHS Wolverhampton CCG 82 22 26.83% 60 73.17% NHS Darlington CCG 47 13 27.66% 34 72.34% NHS Castle Point and Rochford CCG 68 19 27.94% 49 72.06% NHS Eastbourne, Hailsham and Seaford CCG 60 17 28.33% 43 71.67% NHS Hounslow CCG 56 16 28.57% 40 71.43% NHS Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven CCG 64 19 29.69% 45 70.31% NHS Portsmouth CCG 64 19 29.69% 45 70.31% NHS Herefordshire CCG 40 12 30.00% 28 70.00% NHS Mid Essex CCG 142 43 30.28% 99 69.72% NHS Vale of York CCG 122 37 30.33% 85 69.67% NHS High Weald Lewes Havens CCG 69 21 30.43% 48 69.57% NHS Surrey Heath CCG 23 7 30.43% 16 69.57% NHS Guildford and Waverley CCG 59 18 30.51% 41 69.49% NHS North Staffordshire CCG 75 23 30.67% 52 69.33% NHS South East Staffordshire and Seisdon Peninsula CCG 78 24 30.77% 54 69.23% NHS Nottingham North and East CCG 68 21 30.88% 47 69.12% NHS Rushcliffe CCG 42 13 30.95% 29 69.05% NHS Dudley CCG 102 32 31.37% 70 68.63% NHS Hastings and Rother CCG 76 24 31.58% 52 68.42% NHS Hammersmith and Fulham CCG 41 13 31.71% 28 68.29% NHS Kingston CCG 43 14 32.56% 29 67.44% NHS Nottingham West CCG 43 14 32.56% 29 67.44% NHS St Helens CCG 46 15 32.61% 31 67.39% NHS Herts Valleys CCG 191 63 32.98% 128 67.02% NHS East Staffordshire CCG 30 10 33.33% 20 66.67% NHS Horsham and Mid Sussex CCG 78 26 33.33% 52 66.67% NHS Luton CCG 54 18 33.33% 36 66.67% NHS Southend CCG 63 21 33.33% 42 66.67% NHS Wyre Forest CCG 33 11 33.33% 22 66.67% NHS Hillingdon CCG 68 23 33.82% 45 66.18% NHS Stafford and Surrounds CCG 65 22 33.85% 43 66.15% NHS Dorset CCG 310 105 33.87% 205 66.13% NHS North East Lincolnshire CCG 53 18 33.96% 35 66.04% NHS Berkshire West CCG 103 35 33.98% 68 66.02% NHS Somerset CCG 241 82 34.02% 159 65.98% NHS Brighton and Hove CCG 87 30 34.48% 57 65.52% NHS North West Surrey CCG 81 28 34.57% 53 65.43% NHS West Essex CCG 130 45 34.62% 85 65.38% NHS Cannock Chase CCG 49 17 34.69% 32 65.31% NHS Newark and Sherwood CCG 43 15 34.88% 28 65.12% NHS Walsall CCG 86 30 34.88% 56 65.12% NHS

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