Charities team up to fight ovarian cancer

All four national ovarian cancer charities will be working together for the first time during Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month in March to build awareness of signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer.

Target Ovarian Cancer, The Eve Appeal, Ovarian Cancer Action and Ovacome have come together to provide a collaborative web-based resource to ensure consistency and uniformity in the information provided.

Ovarian cancer is the fourth most common cause of cancer death amongstUKwomen with over 4,400 deaths per year, yet awareness of the signs and symptoms is worryingly low amongst both women and GPs.

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UK survival rates are among the lowest in Europe. We know that early diagnosis is key to improving survival and if the UK could match the best European survival rates we could save up to 500 women every year.

In April last year, NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) published important guidance for GPs and other primary care professionals on the recognition and initial management of ovarian cancer.

Susan Taylor, an ovarian cancer survivor, takes comfort in the joint initiative, “As a woman who has had ovarian cancer, it gives me confidence to see these charities working together with a cohesive message. When you have ovarian cancer yourself you need everyone to be consistent and to be headed in the same direction.”

Professor Sir Mike Richards – National Clinical Director for Cancer and more commonly known as the ‘cancer tsar’ – is fully behind the co-operation.

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Says Professor Richards, “I would like to congratulate the four charities involved on their combined efforts in providing a cohesive central portal of information on the symptoms of ovarian cancer.

“Driving early diagnosis for all cancers is a key part of our strategy for improving survival rates in the UK.

“Symptom awareness is part of this. These individual charities play increasingly important but different roles in raising awareness, informing and supporting women with this disease, and funding vital research, and I welcome this unique collaboration.”

Letitia Featherstone, a supporter who has had ovarian cancer is keen to raise awareness and comments “As someone who has had ovarian cancer and both supports and is supported by two of the charities involved I am delighted to see them all working together on this really important issue.

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“There is much to be done to improve awareness of ovarian cancer symptoms amongst women and GPs and by coming together the chances of succeeding are greater. I feel very privileged to be involved as part of such a positive voice for women and their families.”

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