WOMEN in the North-East are ignorant of the dangers of ovarian cancer, according to research from WellBeing, the health charity for women and babies.

An online survey found that more than three quarters of those questioned in the region did not know that ovarian cancer could not be detected by a cervical smear test. Forty per cent of respondents believed it could be revealed by the test and 37.1 per cent said they did not know.

Nationally, 33 per cent said yes and 44 per cent said they did not know.

The WellBeing campaign aims to heighten awareness of the symptoms of ovarian cancer, enabling earlier diagnosis and improved survival rates.

There are 6,000 known cases of ovarian cancer each year in the UK, and of women diagnosed this year only 30 per cent will be alive in five years' time.

In the North-East, 22.9 per cent of respondents said they knew someone who had ovarian cancer, but only two per cent were able to identify indigestion as a symptom of the cancer.

Women were also asked how many people were diagnosed each year. Only seven per cent correctly said 5,000.

Teal-coloured ribbons are on sale at high street retailers Boots and Bhs throughout this month, with all money raised going towards research into the cancer.

For further information about the campaign or a leaflet about ovarian cancer visit www.wellbeing.org.uk.