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Ovarian cancer symptom awareness and anticipated delayed presentation in a population sample

Brain, Kate E., Smits, Stephanie, Simon, Alice E., Forbes, Lindsay J.L., Roberts, Chris, Robbé, Iain J., Steward, John, White, Ceri, Neal, Richard D., Hanson, Jane and others. (2014) Ovarian cancer symptom awareness and anticipated delayed presentation in a population sample. BMC Cancer, 14 . Article Number 171. ISSN 1471-2407. E-ISSN 1471-2407. (doi:10.1186/1471-2407-14-171) (KAR id:53847)

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2407-14-171

Abstract

Background: While ovarian cancer is recognised as having identifiable early symptoms, understanding of the key determinants of symptom awareness and early presentation is limited. A population-based survey of ovarian cancer awareness and anticipated delayed presentation with symptoms was conducted as part of the International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership (ICBP). Methods: Women aged over 50 years were recruited using random probability sampling (n = 1043). Computer-assisted telephone interviews were used to administer measures including ovarian cancer symptom recognition, anticipated time to presentation with ovarian symptoms, health beliefs (perceived risk, perceived benefits/barriers to early presentation, confidence in symptom detection, ovarian cancer worry), and demographic variables. Logistic regression analysis was used to identify the contribution of independent variables to anticipated presentation (categorised as < 3 weeks or ≥ 3 weeks). Results: The most well-recognised symptoms of ovarian cancer were post-menopausal bleeding (87.4%), and persistent pelvic (79.0%) and abdominal (85.0%) pain. Symptoms associated with eating difficulties and changes in bladder/bowel habits were recognised by less than half the sample. Lower symptom awareness was significantly associated with older age (p ≤ 0.001), being single (p ≤ 0.001), lower education (p ≤ 0.01), and lack of personal experience of ovarian cancer (p ≤ 0.01). The odds of anticipating a delay in time to presentation of ≥ 3 weeks were significantly increased in women educated to degree level (OR = 2.64, 95% CI 1.61 – 4.33, p ≤ 0.001), women who reported more practical barriers (OR = 1.60, 95% CI 1.34 – 1.91, p ≤ 0.001) and more emotional barriers (OR = 1.21, 95% CI 1.06 – 1.40, p ≤ 0.01), and those less confident in symptom detection (OR = 0.56, 95% CI 0.42 – 0.73, p ≤ 0.001), but not in those who reported lower symptom awareness (OR = 0.99, 95% CI 0.91 – 1.07, p = 0.74). Conclusions: Many symptoms of ovarian cancer are not well-recognised by women in the general population. Evidence-based interventions are needed not only to improve public awareness but also to overcome the barriers to recognising and acting on ovarian symptoms, if delays in presentation are to be minimised.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1186/1471-2407-14-171
Uncontrolled keywords: Ovarian cancer, Symptoms, Awareness, Anticipated delay
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC254 Neoplasms. Tumors. Oncology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research > Centre for Health Services Studies
Depositing User: Lindsay Forbes
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2016 12:46 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2020 14:40 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/53847 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Forbes, Lindsay J.L.: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4654-9520
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