Ovarian cancer

Cancer of the ovaries. If you have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, or are concerned by symptoms you’re having, HCA UK has the expertise and facilities to help.

Enquiries & Appointments

Woman having a consultation

Ovarian cancer is the 6th most common cancer in women in the UK, it mostly affects women over the age of 50 but can affect younger women too. Ovarian cancers can run in families, this is known as an inherited or hereditary risk.

Knowing the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer makes it easier for you to spot any changes quickly and have them checked. Finding cancer earlier can mean it is easier to treat and increase the chance of successful treatment.

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What are the symptoms of ovarian cancer?

Ovarian cancer symptoms are not always easy to recognise because they can be similar to more common, less serious conditions. But if you have any of the symptoms below, or any other symptoms which aren’t normal for you, make sure you visit a GP as soon as possible.

7 symptoms to look out for include:

  • Persistent bloating – not bloating that comes and goes
  • Difficulty eating and feeling full quickly
  • Persistent abdominal and pelvic pain - that's your stomach and below
  • Urinary symptoms - needing to urinate more urgently or more often than usual
  • Changes in bowel habit - this could be diarrhoea or constipation
  • Extreme fatigue - feeling very tired much of the time
  • Unexplained weight loss
Ultrasound screen

How is ovarian cancer diagnosed?

Across our diagnostic centres and hospitals our expert teams have access to the latest tests and scans to diagnose ovarian cancer and provide you with a personalised treatment and care plan.

Some of the tests you may have include ultrasound scan, CT scan, blood tests and image-guided biopsy. We know that this can be a very worrying time, so we’ll make sure you get the answers you need as quickly as possible.

It’s important to remember that these symptoms may be caused by other less serious conditions, but should you be diagnosed with ovarian cancer at HCA Healthcare UK you’ll have access to a whole team of cancer specialists, led by our expert Consultant Gynaecologists, who can provide you with the best possible treatment options, no matter your diagnosis.

How is ovarian cancer treated?

There are a number treatment options for ovarian cancer, the treatment recommended to you will depend on the cancer type and stage of cancer you have been diagnosed with.

At HCA Healthcare UK your treatment and care will be led by a whole team of cancer experts, their goal will be to find the most effective treatment for you. They’ll do this by working with you to understand your individual medical and personal needs and aligning your treatment and support into a personalised care plan.

Through our healthcare system we can provide the full range of treatment options, from standard therapies, such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy, to innovative and advanced surgical techniques, including minimally invasive robotic-assisted surgery. We are committed to providing the latest therapies as soon as they are available, such as immunotherapies, targeted therapies, hormone therapies and clinical trials.

By choosing HCA Healthcare UK, you’ll have access to the full range of treatment options, and you’ll be guided by our experts who have extensive experience in diagnosing and treating ovarian cancer. Our teams of cancer specialists, including consultants, cancer nurses and other cancer healthcare experts, work together to ensure you receive a personalised treatment plan, without delay.

Working closely with your chosen consultant you will receive the dedicated support of a named Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS). CNSs are senior nurses who specialise in specific types of cancer, their role is to coordinate your care with the wider clinical team, providing medical, practical, and emotional support throughout your treatment, care and recovery.

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What is a hereditary risk factor for ovarian cancer?

Some ovarian cancers can be related to an inherited genetic risk, also known as a hereditary risk. This means you may have an increased risk of developing ovarian cancer based on a history of cancer in your family.

If you have two or more close relatives from the same side of your family who have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, you may be at a higher risk. A family history of other types of cancers, such as breast or bowel cancer, can also increase your hereditary risk of ovarian cancer, this is because these cancers may be caused by a genetic mutation.

If you are concerned about your risk of developing ovarian cancer, you might benefit from visiting a consultant geneticist to better understand your personal risk and the options available to you.

During your consultation, the consultant geneticist will review your and your family’s medical history to assess your cancer risk and may advise cancer genetic testing for you and your family.

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Accessing new and innovative treatment options through clinical trials

At HCA Healthcare UK we have a dedicated research centre, Sarah Cannon Research Institute UK, which is helping to pioneer new treatments for cancer, enabling our patients to access new innovative drugs and therapies at the earliest opportunity.

Recently, Sarah Cannon Research Institute UK was the first centre to offer the OVM-200 therapeutic vaccine for ovarian cancer as part of a phase 1 clinical trial, this is just one of many open clinical trials at our research centre. If you would like to consider joining a clinical trial you can discuss this with your oncologist, who will be able to explain more about the process and any open clinical trials that may be suitable for you.

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Supporting you

If you are diagnosed with ovarian cancer there is no right or wrong way to feel, but there is lots of support available to you throughout your diagnosis, treatment and recovery.

You might require support with the emotional impact of your diagnosis, or support with the physical impacts of treatment, either during your treatment or with the longer-term effects that it can cause.

We know living with cancer can be both physically and emotionally challenging, not just for you but for your loved ones too. That’s why at HCA Healthcare UK we have a team of cancer experts who can provide you with the support that is right for you, including help with diet, physical therapy or emotional support. They’ll work with you to put a plan in place that suits your individual needs. We can also offer practical and emotional support to your loved ones too.

The Harley Street Clinic

The Harley Street Clinic

35 Weymouth Street W1G 8BJ London
University College Hospital Private Care

University College Hospital Private Care

Grafton Way Building, 1 Grafton Way WC1E 6AG London
The Portland Hospital

The Portland Hospital

205-209 Great Portland Street W1W 5AH London