Mum’s bid to raise awareness of ovarian cancer
Susan Gilchrist, of Crown Flatt Way, Dewsbury, was diagnosed with the illness last March after visiting her GP with what she thought was just stomach pains.
Doctors cited her age to be the cause, but a second diagnoses revealed the 64-year-old had ovarian cancer.
Susan’s family are determined to follow in the footsteps of the breast cancer lobby to make more women aware of the disease.
She said: “It is a horrible cancer which just creeps up on women and when they find out they’ve got it, it is too late.
“Women just do not know what they are looking for.”
Susan’s daughter, Caroline, said: “It is absolutely heartbreaking. It is not just the patient that is affected but also family and friends.”
Ovarian cancer is dubbed “the silent killer” because it exhibits no symptoms in its early stages, proving fatal in two-thirds of cases.
Common symptoms include persistent bloating, abdominal or pelvic pain and difficulty in eating.
But Caroline warned around 30 per cent of sufferers are misdiagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome.
She said: “There just is not enough information out there so people do not recognise the symptoms. There has been no new treatments for years and we hope more people talking about it can change that.”
Caroline is also calling for more blood tests to be administered to help trace potential cancer victims.
She said: “Blood tests called CA125 are given to cancer patients to show how much cancer is in the body.
“Why can’t these test be available to everyone? I think people would want to know but when we asked they would not entertain testing us.
“It could really help save lives.”
Susan’s family have organised a fundraiser at Hanging Heaton Working Men’s Club, in aid of Targeting Ovarian Cancer through Cancer Research.
The charity supports women and their families.
Tickets are sold out but donations can be made to www.justgiving.com/carolineraisingawareness.