Yesterday, I looked at some STATISTICS – and lost the plot a bit. Statistics always do that to me, and usually I avoid ‘seeing’ them if at all possible. Plus I usually don’t take any notice of them, because ‘statistically’ I should probably be dead. And as I’m not, I feel justified in ignoring them. A bit like weather reports. But the big bill board was a bit hard to NOT see, which led to the ‘omg! omg!’ attack. Fear creates anger in my head. Then I need to DO something, which is not always possible.
But, saying that, something useful DID come of my Statistic Shriek. I was reading an article [copied in below, as they sometimes disappear – actual article here] about the sad death of Pierce Brosnan's daughter, Charlotte, and I discovered that in the UK, women at high risk are eligible for annual screening once they reach the age of 35, or are five years away from when their youngest relative was diagnosed with the disease.
This is great! And why didn’t I know? Please share this information. It could save someone's life.
Pierce Brosnan with his daughter Charlotte, who has died of ovarian cancer, aged 42
“Catch ovarian cancer before the disease catches youBy Max Pemberton
The death of Pierce Brosnan's daughter, Charlotte, from ovarian cancer must increase awareness of this often ignored disease.
The sad news last week that Pierce Brosnan’s daughter, Charlotte Emily, has died of ovarian cancer at the age of 42 has put this oft-ignored disease on the news agenda. It is the fifth most common cancer in women, with 7,000 cases diagnosed annually in the UK, yet it is rarely in the headlines compared with, say, breast or cervical cancer.
Ovarian cancer has been linked to certain genetic mutations that are also implicated in breast cancer; and the tragedy of Charlotte’s death was compounded by the fact that her mother Cassandra, Brosnan’s first wife, died of the same disease in 1991.
Whenever someone in the public eye is diagnosed with or dies from a disease, the number of anxious people visiting their GP with apparent symptoms rises. Often, these are the ''worried well’’, but in the case of ovarian cancer, not all women who may be at increased risk realise they are entitled to regular monitoring on the NHS.
If any good can come from this death, it is an increased awareness of the support and screening services available for women with a higher-than-average chance of developing the disease. They include those who have a strong family history of ovarian or breast cancer (two or more close relatives from the same side of the family, such as a mother, sister or daughter, who are diagnosed under the age of 50). Such women may have inherited a mutation on the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene and can be referred for genetic testing.
The chance of developing ovarian cancer for most women is one in 50, but for those with this mutation, the risk rises to between 15 and 45 per cent.
Women at high risk are eligible for annual screening once they reach the age of 35, or are five years away from when their youngest relative was diagnosed with the disease. Screening includes a blood test for a chemical that is sometimes produced by ovarian cancer cells and an ultrasound scan.
Anyone concerned about the risk of ovarian cancer should use the online information tool called Opera (http://www.macmillan.org.uk), which will help them decide whether they should seek medical advice.”