THE HEALTH service covering Harlow has one of the poorest detection rates for ovarian cancer in the country.
Just 38% of women in the area covered by the West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are diagnosed with Stage One or Two ovarian cancer.
This compares with 56% in Thurrock, 60% in Islington and 54% in Barking and Dagenham.
The rate for North East Essex CCG is 29%.
More than 7,000 women get ovarian cancer each year in the UK, but one in five are too ill to receive treatment by the time they are diagnosed.
Women have a 90 per cent chance of surviving if the cancer is caught early, but just 10 per cent survive if they are diagnosed with stage-four ovarian cancer, the most advanced stage.
Analysis by the charity Target Ovarian Cancer revealed a stark postcode lottery in the number of women diagnosed at stages one or two, when the tumour is small has not spread to surrounding tissue.
Data from NHS England’s clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) shows the best and worst diagnosis rates vary from 29 per cent in North East Essex to 56 per cent in Thurrock.
The charity said ‘thousands of lives could be saved’ if more CCG’s could match the top performing regions.
Some 7,270 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year – and 4,230 die each year as a result.
The disease is notoriously difficult to spot due to vague early symptoms, which include bloating and loss of appetite, that are often mistaken for mild complaints.
Over a quarter of women are currently only diagnosed after rushing to A&E, often with severe pain. By then the cancer is frequently too advanced for them to be treated.
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