Health

Ovarian cancer 'postcode lottery'


‘Postcode lottery’ for ovarian cancer means THREE TIMES fewer women are being diagnosed with treatable forms of the killer disease in some NHS trusts

  • The cancer kills almost 90% of women whose disease is stage four, data shows
  • Survival rates are higher when the cancer is caught early, at stage one or two
  • Just 21.8% of diagnoses are early at NHS North East Essex CCG, an audit shows
  • In comparison, the rate is three times higher (62.9%) at NHS Islington CCG 

Three times fewer women are being diagnosed with early stage ovarian cancer in some NHS trusts because of a ‘postcode lottery’.

The disease, often branded a ‘silent killer’, kills almost 90 per cent of women who are told their cancer is stage four, figures show.

Survival rates are much higher when the cancer is caught early, when the tumour is small has not spread to surrounding tissue.

But an audit of care has today revealed a stark difference in the number of women diagnosed at stages one or two across England.

Just 21.8 per cent of women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer early at NHS North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

In contrast, the rate is 62.9 per cent at NHS Islington CCG, according to the analysis by Target Ovarian Cancer. 

Just 21.8 per cent of women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer early at NHS North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). In contrast, the rate is 62.9 per cent at NHS Islington CCG, according to the analysis by Target Ovarian Cancer

Just 21.8 per cent of women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer early at NHS North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). In contrast, the rate is 62.9 per cent at NHS Islington CCG, according to the analysis by Target Ovarian Cancer

The disease, often branded a 'silent killer', kills almost 90 per cent of women who are told their cancer is stage-four, figures show

The disease, often branded a ‘silent killer’, kills almost 90 per cent of women who are told their cancer is stage-four, figures show

Annwen Jones, chief executive of the charity, said: ‘There are differences in ovarian cancer early stage diagnosis across England. 

‘This can be due to a range of factors including how promptly women go to their GP and are referred for tests and how long it takes to carry these out. 

‘In some areas there is also a lot of data missing, meaning we can’t be sure what the actual level of early diagnoses is. 

‘We would like this to be further explored so that we can end these variations in early diagnosis.’

Cary Wakefield, chief executive of Ovarian Cancer Action, said ‘Diagnosing ovarian cancer at the earliest stages is crucial.

‘But sadly as we gather data it is clear that a postcode lottery exists around the country, with some areas diagnosing significantly more patients early than others. 

WHAT ARE COMMON SYMPTOMS OF OVARIAN CANCER?

The most common symptoms of ovarian cancer are:

  • Feeling constantly bloated
  • A swollen tummy
  • Discomfort in your tummy or pelvic area
  • Feeling full quickly when eating, or loss of appetite
  • Needing to pee more often or more urgently than normal

Other symptoms can include:

  • Persistent indigestion or nausea
  • Pain during sex
  • A change in your bowel habits
  • Back pain
  • Vaginal bleeding – particularly bleeding after the menopause
  • Feeling tired all the time
  • Unintentional weight loss

‘We want to see all patients diagnosed early enough to get treatment and survive this disease, no matter where they live.’

More than 7,000 women get ovarian cancer each year in the UK, while the figure is closer to the 22,000 mark in the US. 

The disease is notoriously difficult to spot due to vague early symptoms, including bloating and loss of appetite.

Campaigners warn that many women are ‘fobbed off’ during multiple visits to their GPs before receiving their diagnosis.

Last year, the Government set the NHS a target to diagnose three quarters of cancer cases early within ten years.

But currently just 33 per cent of women with ovarian cancer are diagnosed at stage one or two. 

Professor Sudha Sundar, president of the British Gynaecological Cancer Society, urged CCGs to record their data better.

Data was missing for more than a quarter of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer for some health boards. 

Professor Sundara added: ‘Today’s report shows significant regional variation in diagnosis and survival for ovarian cancer across England.   

SO, HOW MANY WOMEN ARE DIAGNOSED EARLY IN YOUR AREA?
CLINICAL COMMISSIONING GROUP TOTAL DIAGNOSED STAGE 1 OR 2 % EARLY STAGE 3 OR 4 % LATE
NHS North East Essex CCG 124 27 21.77% 97 78.23%
NHS East Surrey CCG 46 11 23.91% 35 76.09%
NHS Buckinghamshire CCG 140 34 24.29% 106 75.71%
NHS South Devon and Torbay CCG 125 32 25.60% 93 74.40%
NHS Richmond CCG 54 14 25.93% 40 74.07%
NHS Wolverhampton CCG 82 22 26.83% 60 73.17%
NHS Darlington CCG 47 13 27.66% 34 72.34%
NHS Castle Point and Rochford CCG 68 19 27.94% 49 72.06%
NHS Eastbourne, Hailsham and Seaford CCG 60 17 28.33% 43 71.67%
NHS Hounslow CCG 56 16 28.57% 40 71.43%
NHS Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven CCG 64 19 29.69% 45 70.31%
NHS Portsmouth CCG 64 19 29.69% 45 70.31%
NHS Herefordshire CCG 40 12 30.00% 28 70.00%
NHS Mid Essex CCG 142 43 30.28% 99 69.72%
NHS Vale of York CCG 122 37 30.33% 85 69.67%
NHS High Weald Lewes Havens CCG 69 21 30.43% 48 69.57%
NHS Surrey Heath CCG 23 7 30.43% 16 69.57%
NHS Guildford and Waverley CCG 59 18 30.51% 41 69.49%
NHS North Staffordshire CCG 75 23 30.67% 52 69.33%
NHS South East Staffordshire and Seisdon Peninsula CCG 78 24 30.77% 54 69.23%
NHS Nottingham North and East CCG 68 21 30.88% 47 69.12%
NHS Rushcliffe CCG 42 13 30.95% 29 69.05%
NHS Dudley CCG 102 32 31.37% 70 68.63%
NHS Hastings and Rother CCG 76 24 31.58% 52 68.42%
NHS Hammersmith and Fulham CCG 41 13 31.71% 28 68.29%
NHS Kingston CCG 43 14 32.56% 29 67.44%
NHS Nottingham West CCG 43 14 32.56% 29 67.44%
NHS St Helens CCG 46 15 32.61% 31 67.39%
NHS Herts Valleys CCG 191 63 32.98% 128 67.02%
NHS East Staffordshire CCG 30 10 33.33% 20 66.67%
NHS Horsham and Mid Sussex CCG 78 26 33.33% 52 66.67%
NHS Luton CCG 54 18 33.33% 36 66.67%
NHS Southend CCG 63 21 33.33% 42 66.67%
NHS Wyre Forest CCG 33 11 33.33% 22 66.67%
NHS Hillingdon CCG 68 23 33.82% 45 66.18%
NHS Stafford and Surrounds CCG 65 22 33.85% 43 66.15%
NHS Dorset CCG 310 105 33.87% 205 66.13%
NHS North East Lincolnshire CCG 53 18 33.96% 35 66.04%
NHS Berkshire West CCG 103 35 33.98% 68 66.02%
NHS Somerset CCG 241 82 34.02% 159 65.98%
NHS Brighton and Hove CCG 87 30 34.48% 57 65.52%
NHS North West Surrey CCG 81 28 34.57% 53 65.43%
NHS West Essex CCG 130 45 34.62% 85 65.38%
NHS Cannock Chase CCG 49 17 34.69% 32 65.31%
NHS Newark and Sherwood CCG 43 15 34.88% 28 65.12%
NHS Walsall CCG 86 30 34.88% 56 65.12%
NHS Northumberland CCG 114 40 35.09% 74 64.91%
NHS South Eastern Hampshire CCG 74 26 35.14% 48 64.86%
NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney CCG 105 37 35.24% 68 64.76%
NHS Wirral CCG 113 40 35.40% 73 64.60%
NHS South Tees CCG 107 38 35.51% 69 64.49%
NHS Redditch and Bromsgrove CCG 53 19 35.85% 34 64.15%
NHS Wigan Borough CCG 103 37 35.92% 66 64.08%
NHS Greater Preston CCG 64 23 35.94% 41 64.06%
NHS North Lincolnshire CCG 75 27 36.00% 48 64.00%
NHS Shropshire CCG 133 48 36.09% 85 63.91%
NHS Kernow CCG 205 74 36.10% 131 63.90%
NHS North Norfolk CCG 72 26 36.11% 46 63.89%
NHS South Kent Coast CCG 69 25 36.23% 44 63.77%
NHS Wiltshire CCG 160 58 36.25% 102 63.75%
NHS Coastal West Sussex CCG 204 74 36.27% 130 63.73%
NHS South Worcestershire CCG 102 37 36.27% 65 63.73%
NHS North Cumbria CCG 107 39 36.45% 68 63.55%
NHS Coventry and Rugby CCG 131 48 36.64% 83 63.36%
NHS Oxfordshire CCG 210 77 36.67% 133 63.33%
NHS Doncaster CCG 106 39 36.79% 67 63.21%
NHS South Cheshire CCG 62 23 37.10% 39 62.90%
NHS Lincolnshire West CCG 51 19 37.25% 32 62.75%
NHS Harrogate and Rural District CCG 59 22 37.29% 37 62.71%
NHS Erewash CCG 24 9 37.50% 15 62.50%
NHS Oldham CCG 72 27 37.50% 45 62.50%
NHS South Lincolnshire CCG 56 21 37.50% 35 62.50%
NHS Nene CCG 170 64 37.65% 106 62.35%
NHS Scarborough and Ryedale CCG 53 20 37.74% 33 62.26%
NHS Northern, Eastern and Western Devon CCG 346 131 37.86% 215 62.14%
NHS South West Lincolnshire CCG 58 22 37.93% 36 62.07%
NHS Swindon CCG 81 31 38.27% 50 61.73%
NHS Leeds CCG 256 98 38.28% 158 61.72%
NHS Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG 301 116 38.54% 185 61.46%
NHS East Riding of Yorkshire CCG 153 59 38.56% 94 61.44%
NHS Wakefield CCG 129 50 38.76% 79 61.24%
NHS Canterbury and Coastal CCG 72 28 38.89% 44 61.11%
NHS South Sefton CCG 46 18 39.13% 28 60.87%
NHS Havering CCG 74 29 39.19% 45 60.81%
NHS Harrow CCG 58 23 39.66% 35 60.34%
NHS Redbridge CCG 73 29 39.73% 44 60.27%
NHS Barnsley CCG 78 31 39.74% 47 60.26%
NHS Bexley CCG 83 33 39.76% 50 60.24%
NHS South Norfolk CCG 88 35 39.77% 53 60.23%
NHS Bury CCG 70 28 40.00% 42 60.00%
NHS Crawley CCG 25 10 40.00% 15 60.00%
NHS Stoke on Trent CCG 95 38 40.00% 57 60.00%
NHS West Norfolk CCG 100 40 40.00% 60 60.00%
NHS Stockport CCG 132 53 40.15% 79 59.85%
NHS Gloucestershire CCG 209 84 40.19% 125 59.81%
NHS Tameside and Glossop CCG 92 37 40.22% 55 59.78%
NHS Lincolnshire East CCG 87 35 40.23% 52 59.77%
NHS North East Hampshire and Farnham CCG 72 29 40.28% 43 59.72%
NHS Southampton CCG 72 29 40.28% 43 59.72%
NHS Sunderland CCG 99 40 40.40% 59 59.60%
NHS Haringey CCG 69 28 40.58% 41 59.42%
NHS West Hampshire CCG 221 90 40.72% 131 59.28%
NHS North Durham CCG 108 44 40.74% 64 59.26%
NHS Bradford Districts CCG 103 42 40.78% 61 59.22%
NHS Bromley CCG 103 42 40.78% 61 59.22%
NHS East and North Hertfordshire CCG 213 87 40.85% 126 59.15%
NHS Mansfield and Ashfield CCG 56 23 41.07% 33 58.93%
NHS South Warwickshire CCG 73 30 41.10% 43 58.90%
NHS Eastern Cheshire CCG 68 28 41.18% 40 58.82%
NHS Newham CCG 51 21 41.18% 30 58.82%
NHS Swale CCG 34 14 41.18% 20 58.82%
NHS Basildon and Brentwood CCG 92 38 41.30% 54 58.70%
NHS West Leicestershire CCG 118 49 41.53% 69 58.47%
NHS Blackburn with Darwen CCG 36 15 41.67% 21 58.33%
NHS Brent CCG 72 30 41.67% 42 58.33%
NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG 72 30 41.67% 42 58.33%
NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale CCG 67 28 41.79% 39 58.21%
NHS Ashford CCG 43 18 41.86% 25 58.14%
NHS Bolton CCG 74 31 41.89% 43 58.11%
NHS Salford CCG 74 31 41.89% 43 58.11%
NHS Thanet CCG 50 21 42.00% 29 58.00%
NHS Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees CCG 107 45 42.06% 62 57.94%
NHS Fylde and Wyre CCG 76 32 42.11% 44 57.89%
NHS Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield CCG 121 51 42.15% 70 57.85%
NHS South Tyneside CCG 45 19 42.22% 26 57.78%
NHS Calderdale CCG 71 30 42.25% 41 57.75%
NHS East Berkshire CCG 92 39 42.39% 53 57.61%
NHS Hardwick CCG 40 17 42.50% 23 57.50%
NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk CCG 160 68 42.50% 92 57.50%
NHS Isle of Wight CCG 61 26 42.62% 35 57.38%
NHS Warwickshire North CCG 61 26 42.62% 35 57.38%
NHS Morecambe Bay CCG 103 44 42.72% 59 57.28%
NHS Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire CCG 241 103 42.74% 138 57.26%
NHS Wandsworth CCG 56 24 42.86% 32 57.14%
NHS Ealing CCG 83 36 43.37% 47 56.63%
NHS Bedfordshire CCG 145 63 43.45% 82 56.55%
NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG 133 58 43.61% 75 56.39%
NHS Corby CCG 16 7 43.75% 9 56.25%
NHS Milton Keynes CCG 64 28 43.75% 36 56.25%
NHS Nottingham City CCG 64 28 43.75% 36 56.25%
NHS Croydon CCG 82 36 43.90% 46 56.10%
NHS East Lancashire CCG 125 55 44.00% 70 56.00%
NHS Barnet CCG 93 41 44.09% 52 55.91%
NHS Newcastle Gateshead CCG 163 72 44.17% 91 55.83%
NHS North Tyneside CCG 85 38 44.71% 47 55.29%
NHS Fareham and Gosport CCG 67 30 44.78% 37 55.22%
NHS Warrington CCG 58 26 44.83% 32 55.17%
NHS Southport and Formby CCG 49 22 44.90% 27 55.10%
NHS Hull CCG 91 41 45.05% 50 54.95%
NHS Surrey Downs CCG 91 41 45.05% 50 54.95%
NHS Sheffield CCG 144 65 45.14% 79 54.86%
NHS West Kent CCG 175 79 45.14% 96 54.86%
NHS Telford and Wrekin CCG 53 24 45.28% 29 54.72%
NHS Merton CCG 44 20 45.45% 24 54.55%
NHS Southern Derbyshire CCG 176 80 45.45% 96 54.55%
NHS West Cheshire CCG 81 37 45.68% 44 54.32%
NHS West Suffolk CCG 94 43 45.74% 51 54.26%
NHS Manchester CCG 126 58 46.03% 68 53.97%
NHS East Leicestershire and Rutland CCG 121 56 46.28% 65 53.72%
NHS Birmingham and Solihull CCG 330 153 46.36% 177 53.64%
NHS Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby CCG 71 33 46.48% 38 53.52%
NHS Leicester City CCG 71 33 46.48% 38 53.52%
NHS Blackpool CCG 51 24 47.06% 27 52.94%
NHS Norwich CCG 72 34 47.22% 38 52.78%
NHS Chorley and South Ribble CCG 40 19 47.50% 21 52.50%
NHS West Lancashire CCG 44 21 47.73% 23 52.27%
NHS Medway CCG 79 38 48.10% 41 51.90%
NHS Camden CCG 37 18 48.65% 19 51.35%
NHS Central London (Westminster) CCG 37 18 48.65% 19 51.35%
NHS Enfield CCG 76 37 48.68% 39 51.32%
NHS Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley CCG 83 41 49.40% 42 50.60%
NHS Bradford City CCG 8 4 50.00% 4 50.00%
NHS Sutton CCG 54 27 50.00% 27 50.00%
NHS Thurrock CCG 42 21 50.00% 21 50.00%
NHS North Derbyshire CCG 69 35 50.72% 34 49.28%
NHS Halton CCG 41 21 51.22% 20 48.78%
NHS Liverpool CCG 126 67 53.17% 59 46.83%
NHS North Hampshire CCG 45 24 53.33% 21 46.67%
NHS Lewisham CCG 73 39 53.42% 34 46.58%
NHS Bath and North East Somerset CCG 50 27 54.00% 23 46.00%
NHS Lambeth CCG 74 40 54.05% 34 45.95%
NHS Knowsley CCG 44 24 54.55% 20 45.45%
NHS Trafford CCG 75 41 54.67% 34 45.33%
NHS Rotherham CCG 80 44 55.00% 36 45.00%
NHS North Kirklees CCG 50 28 56.00% 22 44.00%
NHS Barking and Dagenham CCG 37 21 56.76% 16 43.24%
NHS Waltham Forest CCG 59 34 57.63% 25 42.37%
NHS Greenwich CCG 50 29 58.00% 21 42.00%
NHS City and Hackney CCG 51 30 58.82% 21 41.18%
NHS Vale Royal CCG 37 22 59.46% 15 40.54%
NHS Bassetlaw CCG 30 18 60.00% 12 40.00%
NHS Tower Hamlets CCG 36 22 61.11% 14 38.89%
NHS Southwark CCG 39 24 61.54% 15 38.46%
NHS West London CCG 39 24 61.54% 15 38.46%
NHS Islington CCG 62 39 62.90% 23 37.10%





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