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ISRN Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 754197, 6 pages
Research Article

Symptoms and Risk Factors of Ovarian Cancer: A Survey in Primary Care

1Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Westcliff on Sea, Essex SS0 0RY, UK
2Gynaecological Oncology Unit, Royal Preston Hospital, Sharoe Green Lane, Fulwood, Preston, Lancashire PR2 9HT, UK
3Oaklands Surgery, Central Canvey Primary Care Centre, Long Road, Canvey Island, Essex SS8 0JA, UK

Received 25 May 2012; Accepted 9 July 2012

Academic Editors: M. Friedrich and T. Perez-Medina

Copyright © 2012 Ketan Gajjar et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In spite of the increased awareness of ovarian cancer symptoms, the predictive value of symptoms remains very low. The aim of this paper is to obtain the views of general practitioners (GPs) in relation to symptom-based detection of ovarian cancer and to assess their knowledge for family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer as a predisposing factor for ovarian cancer. In this questionnaire survey, postal questionnaires were sent to 402 GPs in 132 primary care clinics, out of which we obtained 110 replies (27.4%). Approximately 26% of respondent GPs thought that the symptoms were more likely to be frequent, sudden, and persistent, and one-fifth were unsure of the importance of family history of breast cancer in relation to ovarian cancer. The participant GPs scored a set of symptoms for their relevance to ovarian cancer from 0 (not relevant) to 10 (most relevant). The highest scored symptoms were abdominal swelling (mean ± SD, 8 . 1 9 ± 2 . 3 3 ), abdominal bloating ( 7 . 0 1 ± 3 . 0 1 ), and pelvic pain ( 7 . 4 6 ± 2 . 2 6 ). There was a relative lack of awareness for repetitive symptoms as well as gastrointestinal symptoms as an important feature in a symptom-based detection of ovarian cancer.