A study to learn more about how women may self-manage symptoms of ovarian cancer (CRUK Guardian Angels)

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Please note - this trial is no longer recruiting patients. We hope to add results when they are available.

Cancer type:

Ovarian cancer





This is a study to see if women try to manage their symptoms by changing what they buy, such as more over the counter medications, before seeing their GP.

Cancer Research UK supports this study.  

More about this trial

Women often have symptoms of ovarian cancer some time before being diagnosed. These can be: 

  • tummy (abdominal) pain 
  • feeling bloated

Often women don’t think straight away that these symptoms may be serious and don’t recognise they could be related to cancer. They try to manage them by using ways they have coped with these types of symptoms in the past or by buying over the counter medications such as:

  • painkillers
  • indigestion medicines
  • natural remedies

This can delay them seeing their GP and their cancer diagnosis Open a glossary item.  

In this study, researchers want to find out if there is a change in what women buy (purchases) due to their symptoms. As well as looking at evidence of increased purchasing of medications there may be other ways symptoms are having an affect such as buying less food due to a loss of appetite.  

To look at what is bought, they want to look at the information recorded in high street stores loyalty cards. 

The main aim of this study is to see if women change their buying behaviours from the moment they thought they had changes in their body, until seeing a GP.

Who can enter

You might be able to join this study if you are a woman with ovarian cancer and you have a loyalty card with a high street store (the study team can tell you which stores are taking part).

Trial design

This study will recruit 29 women with ovarian cancer.  

You complete a questionnaire. The questionnaire can be completed online or on paper. It takes about 10 minutes to complete. 

The questionnaire asks about: 

  • if there were any, the 1st time you noticed changes in your body and what the changes were 
  • whether you have taken drugs without medical supervision (over the counter) to help with symptoms
  • when you saw your GP for the first time for symptoms or changes related to ovarian cancer and when you were diagnosed 
  • what loyalty cards you have and how often you use them
  • your education and ethnicity  

The study team will also ask you to take part in another study. They want to interview you to find out what you think about using information from loyalty cards to improve early cancer diagnosis. 

You do not have to agree to this interview if you don’t want to. You can still take part in this study. 

All the answers you give and the information collected about you is kept confidential Open a glossary item so no one will be able to identify you. 

Hospital visits

You do not have any hospital visits as part of this study.

Side effects

There are no side effects from taking part in this study but you might find some questions distressing.  

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Dr Yasemin Hirst 

Supported by

Cancer Research UK
University College London (UCL)

Questions about cancer? Contact our information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:


Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Around 1 in 5 people take part in clinical trials

3 phases of trials

Around 1 in 5 people diagnosed with cancer in the UK take part in a clinical trial.

Last reviewed:

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