Consider ovarian cancer in patients with upper GI symptoms

A story on the ABC’s 7.30 and AM television and radio programs this week highlighted the case of a 44-year-old woman who visited at least six doctors before being diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer three years ago.

A mother of two named only as Wendi told the ABC that she visited her regular GP several times, the emergency department of her local hospital as well as a second female GP, and was treated for bloating and constipation before she was offered a physical exam which detected a large lump in her abdomen.

Dr Robyn Sayer, a gynaecological oncologist at Sydney’s Royal Women’s Hospital, who treated Wendi said her patient was not alone in the initial misdiagnosis and that both patients and GPs need to be more aware of the symptoms.

“It was the classic story again where she had mostly the upper abdominal symptoms and they were giving her antacid medicines and sending her away,” Dr Sayer told the