EVER felt like your chest was burning up?
Well chances are you've experienced heartburn.
The unpleasant and often painful feeling is usually nothing to worry about.
But in some cases, it can be a symptom of ovarian cancer.
The disease affects about 7,000 women each year – making it one of the most common types of the cancer in females.
It is often diagnosed late when survival chances are bad, because symptoms are vague like stomach aches, lost appetite and bloating.
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A new study has found women with undiagnosed ovarian cancer bought increasing amounts of indigestion tablets to ease their symptoms.
Tracking purchases on store cards like Tesco's Clubcard or the Boots Advantage Card could help spot tumours earlier.
Study author Dr James Flanagan, from Imperial College London, said: “The cancer symptoms we are looking for are very common.
“Using shopping data, our study found a noticeable increase in purchases of pain and indigestion medications among women with ovarian cancer up to eight months before diagnosis, compared with women without ovarian cancer.
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“But for some women, they could be the first signs of something more serious."
“We hope this research can lead to symptoms being picked up earlier and improve patients’ options for treatment.”
What are the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer?
Many symptoms of ovarian cancer are hard to recognise as they are similar to conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Others have mistakenly thought that the swelling is a result of pregnancy.
But according to Cancer Research UK, there are the things to look out for:
- A swollen stomach
- Feeling bloated constantly
- Needing to urinate frequently
- Discomfort in your tummy or pelvic area
- Feeling full quickly when eating
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