Mum worked 'tirelessly' to raise awareness of ovarian cancer symptoms

A Larne woman who worked 'tirelessly' to raise awareness on the symptoms of ovarian cancer has passed away.

Wednesday, 1st April 2020, 4:49 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st April 2020, 5:36 pm
Carol Bareham.

Carol Bareham was diagnosed with the illness in 2015 at the age of 42.

The mum-of-two underwent chemotherapy at Belfast City Hospital, later followed by an operation to remove both ovaries, womb and cervix.

And despite dealing with the cancer's return, she continued to actively stress the importance of knowing the symptoms.

"If a woman has the symptoms of ovarian cancer for two or more weeks, go to your GP and do not be fobbed off, make them aware of the possibility of ovarian cancer and get them to rule it out first," Carol said in a 2017 interview with the Larne Times. "It is up to women to inform other women."

Larne High were among those paying tribute to Carol, who joined the school as a science technician in March 2013.

"It was with great sadness that the Larne High School community learnt that early this morning Mrs Carol Bareham passed away from ovarian cancer," the school wrote in a Facebook post.

"Everyone in the school community extends their deepest sympathy to the Bareham and Nelson family circle. Our thoughts are with Neil, Thea and Elliot at this time.

"Carol's scientific background ensured that she was a valuable member of the science department and her efficiency and expertise were highly valued by her colleagues.

"She also helped in other ways around the school, supervising at lunch times, serving refreshments at school events, judging the school talent competitions and at one time being the school’s primary first aider. It was through this that Carol built strong relationships with the pupils, who valued her care, support and words of advice.

"Carol’s passing leaves Larne High School all the poorer, and yet many of us have been able to draw encouragement from Carol’s example to squeeze every last drop out of life despite the adversity she faced.

"Since her diagnosis in October 2015, Carol has spent the last four and a half years working tirelessly to raise awareness of ovarian cancer and the early warning signs, so that other women could reach a diagnosis earlier and receive treatment sooner.

"It could only be the Carol Bareham that we all knew in Larne High School that could turn the diagnosis of cancer into an opportunity to help others. Carol’s work promoting awareness about her illness will give hope to many other women in the future."

The school added: "Carol gave strict instructions about what she felt were appropriate words to use, and vociferously banned any reference to inspiration, battles or bravery. We will instead leave you with the words that we know Carol would most want you to hear instead: please know the symptoms."

Symptoms of ovarian cancer are:

- Increased abdominal size/persistent bloating.

- Difficulty eating/feeling full.

- Pelvic or abdominal pain.

- Needing to wee more urgently or more often.

Other symptoms can include unexpected weight loss, change in bowel habits, and extreme fatigue.