Shopping can help detect ovarian cancer.
According to specialists conducting a research, keeping track of what customers purchase using loyalty card data can assist identify people who are showing early signs of cancer.
They discovered that buying indigestion and pain relievers frequently indicated an increased risk of ovarian cancer.
Oftentimes, ovarian cancer is detected too late.
The symptoms, such bloating, are ambiguous and might be mistaken for other common, harmless illnesses because there is no accurate screening test.
These signs include:
stomach that is enlarged or bloated
indigestion pelvic or abdominal discomfort
the need to urinate more frequently,
loss of appetite,
or feeling full shortly after eating
Early diagnosis increases the likelihood of effective treatment.
When Fiona Murphy, then 25, was identified as having a rare form of ovarian cancer, she underwent treatment.
Since she had been experiencing stomach pain and indigestion for a few years, several medical professionals had repeatedly speculated that she might have irritable bowel syndrome.
I relied on Gaviscon for several months prior to being diagnosed with ovarian cancer, the woman claimed. It traveled with me everywhere. Without it, I was unable to leave the house.
"My symptoms were hazy but persistent and frequent. You must be on the lookout for that.
Her symptoms persisted, and a scan showed a sizable growth or mass.
Fiona, who is now 39, has been assisting the Imperial College London research team.
I had the incorrect diagnosis for almost two years, so I wanted to contribute to the design of this study, she stated.
"I want to help those who are in the same situation as I was if there is a method to acquire an early diagnosis.
Early diagnosis is essential. It's possible that I could have had fewer surgery and better fertility choices if my cancer had been discovered sooner.
The study's lead author, Dr. James Flanagan, was financed by Cancer Research UK "Although the cancer symptoms we're looking for are rather frequent, for other women they might be the first indications of a more serious condition.
"Our study discovered that, up to eight months before diagnosis, women with ovarian cancer purchased much more pain and indigestion drugs than did women without the disease.
This implies that women may be addressing their symptoms at home long before they recognize them as concerning enough to visit a doctor, according to the study.
283 female consumers from two major High Street businesses volunteered to reveal their purchase history going back more than six years with the researchers.
Ovarian cancer had been identified in more than half of the cases.
The results need to be confirmed by other research. The scientists will now explore whether data from shopping can also be used to detect other diseases, such as bladder, liver, and stomach cancer.
The journal JMIR Public Health and Surveillance has published the most recent work.
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