DIAGNOSIS of ovarian cancer isn’t happening early enough in Shropshire to give women the best chance of survival.

If it is not caught early the disease is difficult to treat.

On average one woman is diagnosed every week in this area.

But new figures covering the three years 2015-2017 show that fewer than a third of the diagnoses are at the early stages of the disease.

And that’s important, because the survival rate plummets if it is not picked up early.

From a 90% chance of survival after 5 years if picked up at stage one, it falls to just 17% at stage 4.

The Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group reported 161 cases in the three years. Of those 48 were diagnosed at stages 1 or 2, while 85 were stages 3 or 4.

In another 28 cases the stage is not recorded.

Overall 52% of the diagnoses were late stage.

The government has set a target of 75% early stage diagnosis by 2028.

Because of its age breakdown, Shropshire tends to see more cases of ovarian cancer than the English average.

The local survival rate after one year is 68.9%, slightly below the English average of 70.8.

After five years it is 42.7, which is above the 41.3% national figure.

The figures come from a national audit funded by cancer charities.

It found big discrepancies across the country in terms of successfully diagnosing the cancer early – ranging from a low of 22% to a high of 63%.

Ovarian cancer can be hard to spot early.

The symptoms are:

• Persistent bloating - not bloating that comes and goes

• Feeling full quickly and/or loss of appetite

• Pelvic or abdominal pain (that’s your tummy and below)

• Urinary symptoms (needing to wee more urgently or more often than usual)

Eleven women die every day in the country.