AN NHS pilot campaign has been launched to urge older women who have felt bloated for more than three weeks to see a doctor immediately.

Women aged over 50 across North Yorkshire will be the focus of the Be Clear On Cancer initiative, which awareness of the symptoms of ovarian cancer, including feeling full or having a loss of appeitite, pelvic or stomach pain and needing to urinate frequently.

Research shows while nearly 75 per cent of Yorkshire residents have had a personal experience of cancer through family members or friends, there is a low awareness of some of the less obvious early signs of cancers.

An NHS spokesman said there is also a tendency for women to put up with key symptoms like persistent bloating, rather than seek medical advice. Every year, around 250 cases of ovarian cancer are diagnosed in the Yorkshire region and around 145 women die of the disease.

Around 5,800 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer in England each year. If diagnosed at the earliest stage, more than 90 per cent of women are alive five years after diagnosis, compared with around five per cent diagnosed at the most advanced stage.

The pilot campaign will include press and outdoor advertising as well as adverts on pharmacy bags and screens in GP surgeries.