Spurred on by her mother Hilda’s death from ovarian cancer, Auburn resident Mary Dias is urging women to be aware of the symptoms of the ‘silent killer’ ahead of Teal Ribbon Day on February 28.
WATCHING her mother die from ovarian cancer in 2003 galvanised Auburn resident Mary Dias into becoming a campaigner against the disease and she is urging other women not to ignore symptoms ahead of the annual Teal Ribbon Day on Wednesday, February 28.
Tragically she said the family and medical staff all dismissed her 80-year-old mother's symptoms as 'just part of getting old' until it was too late.
"We didn't know the symptoms," she said.
"I don't want women to suffer like I saw my mum suffer. It was so sad, she shouldn't have had to go through that."
"I just want to make people aware. Ovarian cancer is called a silent killer for a good reason."
The four key symptoms of ovarian cancer include abdominal or pelvic pain; increased abdominal size or persistent bloating; the need to urinate often or urgently; and feeling full after eating a small amount.
"Women should note down these symptoms and if they persist, they should go and see a doctor and ask them to do an ultrasound," she said.
"These are common symptoms and it's too easy to just brush them off.
"That's what we did, that's what the doctors did and that's what I don't want other women to do.
"I don't want other women to suffer, I feel like I have to do something. It's in memory of my mum that I have to do this, to talk about ovarian cancer and to educate everyone."