Bloating can be a hidden sign of ovarian cancer, new study finds

Laura Hampson

When you are bloated the first thing you blame it on is your last meal. And while in most cases what you eat is generally the cause for the bloat – if you are experiencing constant bloating it could be a sign of something more sinister.

New research by Target Ovarian Cancer found only 34 per cent of women would see their GP if they were experiencing regular bloating.

A greater number of women (50 per cent) said instead they would consider changing their diet to less bloat-inducing foods – i.e. cutting out gluten and eating more pro-biotic yoghurt.

These results were found after YouGov surveyed 1,142 women on behalf of Target Ovarian Cancer.

Bloating is one of the main symptoms of ovarian cancer, along with more frequent urination, feeling full quicker and a swollen stomach.

A prior study by the same charity also found that only 20 per cent of women were able to identify bloating as one of the main symptoms of ovarian cancer. This knowledge gap means women are missing out on early diagnosis and potentially losing their lives.

Ovarian cancer is the sixth most common cancer in the UK and around 4,000 women die from it each year.

Annwen Jones, Chief Executive of Target Ovarian Cancer, said: “A probiotic yoghurt should not be preventing a woman from visiting the GP promptly if something is worrying her.

“Women should not be risking their lives because of the enduring awareness gap around the symptoms of ovarian cancer. If women know ovarian cancer symptoms such as persistent bloating and are able to link them to ovarian cancer early on, lives will be saved.”