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Let’s talk about ovarian cancer

We're taking a moment to look at the symptoms of Ovarian Cancer during Ovarian Cancer Awareness month

It’s Ovarian Cancer Awareness month throughout March and we wanted to take a moment to highlight some of the stats and symptoms in case they’re helpful to anyone reading. We are not doctors, and all of this information is in the public domain, but if we hope that in sharing it, it could help someone to get a diagnosis a little earlier. 

Ovarian cancer symptoms 

Of course there are lots of symptoms when it comes to cancer, and some are more insidious than others, so if you’re ever unsure about something then it’s always best to speak to your doctor. However, here are some of the most common symptoms of ovarian cancer:

  • Abdominal bloating or swelling
  • Quickly feeling full when eating
  • Weight loss
  • Discomfort in the pelvic area
  • Fatigue
  • Back pain
  • Changes in bowel habits, such as constipation
  • A frequent need to urinate
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Typical treatments for ovarian cancer

Everyone’s experience of cancer is different and there’s no such thing as a textbook journey. It will depend on things like the size and type of cancer, where it is, if it’s spread and other factors like your overall health. However, typically a treatment plan for ovarian cancer in the UK could include one or more of the following according to the NHS:


Surgery for ovarian cancer might include removing both ovaries and the fallopian tubes, or the opening to your womb from your vagina. If the cancer has spread then it might include other surgeries as well.


Chemotherapy might follow surgery or be used if cancer returns. The side effects of chemotherapy can vary, but they can also be challenging. They can include things like fatigue, hair loss, easy bruising, a predisposition to infection, nausea and changes to your appetite. It can also affect your skin, with many people reporting very dry skin, brittle nails and pigmentation.


Radiotherapy might be used if other treatments aren’t suitable or to help with certain symptoms such as bleeding, pain or discomfort. Side effects can include sore skin, specifically in the target area, tiredness, feeling sick, and stiff joints and muscles.

Hormone therapy

Some cancers are hormone specific and need oestrogen in particular to grow. This can mean that doctors recommend hormone therapies to block the production of oestrogen.

Spa treatments and your cancer journey

All cancer treatments have their side effects that doctors will be able to offer advice on. From our perspective, spas are certainly not going to fix all problems, but with properly trained spa therapists and the right products, they can help to ease some side effects of cancer treatments and to provide support on your cancer journey. For example, the right type of massage has been shown to help ease pain, improve mood and help with sleeplessness. Meanwhile, products from brands like Jennifer Young help to ease some of the skincare side effects of cancer treatment.

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If you would like to find out more about spas where therapists are trained to provide the best support on your cancer journey, you can follow the link to our Safe Hands for Cancer experiences, or read more articles on this blog.

Read more about cancer support in UK spas

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