THURROCK has one of the best detection rates for ovarian cancer in the country, new figures have revealed.

Major concerns had been raised women in Essex are facing a post code lottery with early diagnosis, with few cases being caught at the earliest stages.

However, 56 per cent of women in the area covered by the Thurrock Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are diagnosed at stage One or Two with ovarian cancer - when there is a 90 percent chance of survival.

The figures make good reading compared to some other areas of Essex.

A report from Target Ovarian Cancer has revealed the percentage of women diagnosed with stage one or two ovarian cancer between 2012 and 2017 in each clinical commissioning group area.

In Southend just 38 per cent of women were diagnosed with the life-threatening condition early with Basildon and Castle Point and Rochford clinical commissioning group areas detecting 35 per cent and 36 per cent respectively.

The Target Ovarian Cancer charity said “thousands of lives could be saved” if more CCG’s could match the top performing regions.

The report said: “There can be a wide variety of reasons for differences between areas, including age, with younger women more likely to be diagnosed with earlier stage ovarian cancer. Differences can also result from awareness of the symptoms among women in the general population, GP knowledge and experience and, in some cases, the time taken to diagnose ovarian cancer.

“Further work is required to understand what causes these differences and what can be put in place to help address them.”

More than 7,000 women get ovarian cancer each year in the UK, but one in five are too ill to receive treatment by the time they are diagnosed.

Women have a 90 per cent chance of surviving if the cancer is caught early, but just ten per cent survive if they are diagnosed with stage-four ovarian cancer, the most advanced stage.

Some 7,270 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year – and 4,230 die each year as a result. The disease is notoriously difficult to spot due to vague early symptoms, which include bloating and loss of appetite, that are often mistaken for mild complaints.

Compared to Thurrock, with the highest percentage nationally, the lowest was in North East Essex, at just 29 per cent.

The clinical commissioning groups were asked to comment.

Rebecca Rennison, from Target Ovarian Cancer, said: “Every woman should receive the earliest diagnosis possible. If we can achieve the government’s ambition of three quarters of women diagnosed with early stage disease, it would be a breakthrough comparable to the first introduction of chemotherapy or mapping of the human genome.

“It would be truly transformative and would see thousands of lives saved.

“We look forward to working with the government and the NHS to make this vision a reality and to write the next chapter in the fight against ovarian cancer.”