Ovarian cancer explained

Ovarian cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in women but usually affects women over the age of 50.

According to the NHS, it mainly impacts upon women who have been through the menopause but it can sometimes affect younger women.

A ward at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, Liverpool. PA Archive/PA Images

A ward at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, Liverpool. PA Archive/PA Images

Common symptoms can include feeling constantly bloated, a swollen tummy, discomfort in the tummy or pelvic area, and needing to use the bathroom more often than normal.

The symptoms can be difficult to recognise because they can be similar to those such as for irritable bowel syndrome.

The cause in unknown, but a family history can indicate an increased risk of inherited genes.

Common treatments for ovarian cancer can include surgery to remove as much of it as possible, often involving the removal of the ovaries, the womb and the fallopian tubes.

Often, chemotherapy is used after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells.

There are different kinds of ovarian cancer, with teenagers most commonly affected by germ cell tumours.

Most girls and young women can be cured of germ cell tumours of the ovary with treatment, with survival rates being as high as 98 per cent if it caught early enough.

For all women and all kinds of ovarian cancer, the five-year survival rate is almost 50 per cent.

Those who are diagnosed at a younger age have a higher chance of survival.