Women struggling to find their voice: March 2016 ovarian cancer awareness month

Worrying new stats show almost 1 in 3 unable to talk about physical health issues with a doctor.

Half of the women who felt they could not talk to their doctor about physical health issues claimed it was because they lacked confidence, with 1 in 4 saying they didn’t feel able to speak up because they didn’t believe they would be taken seriously.

The report, from Ovarian Cancer Action to coincide with Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month revealed some shocking statistics with nearly half of those women feeling they lack  assertiveness and confidence with nearly 1 in 4 of women doubting their own instincts if a healthcare professional said they were okay but they felt something was wrong.

Whilst symptoms for ovarian cancer can sometimes be misdiagnosed as for other ailments, the research also reveals that over a quarter of women cannot name any symptoms of ovarian cancer, unaware that things like persistent bloating, needing to pee more often, persistent tummy pain and feeling full more quickly.

Clearly this lack of awareness is putting lives at risk, so what measures can be taken to help women find their voice and make them feel more confident in talking about and listening to their bodies?

Perhaps this lack of confidence is the reason that women are prioritizing other things over visiting the doctors with one in four putting work commitments over and above a trip to the docs. Empowering women with knowledge and boosting their confidence may be the first step as 60% of women say that being well informed helps to make them feel more confident in speaking up but worryingly 1 in 10 say nothing will help increase their confidence levels.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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