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Alison

Alison's story

"I was introduced to Target Ovarian Cancer very early on by my gynae nurse specialist. Because of my background in health psychology and psycho-oncology they asked me to contribute to their guides for women, wearing both the health professional and patient hat."

We’ve assembled a panel of the UK’s leading ovarian cancer experts with one simple remit – to answer any questions you may have about the disease.

Every member is an ovarian cancer expert. The panel is made up of GPs and clinical nurse specialists, plus geneticists, psychologists, researchers, oncologists and surgeons. 

To ask the panel a question, all you have to do is call 020 7923 5475 or email your question to experts@targetovariancancer.org.uk or you can also simply fill in this form

We’ll get you an answer from the panel and then we’ll share your question and answer on our website so other people can benefit from it too. We plan to keep expanding the panel to give you even greater access to even more experts who can make living with ovarian cancer easier for you.

Meet the panel

Vicki Barber

Dr Vicki Barber, GP, Kettering

Victoria Barber has been a GP for 18 years in a practice in Rushden, Northamptonshire. She has a particular interest in women's health and was involved in the British Medical Journal's GP educational tool on ovarian cancer. Her mother died from ovarian cancer in 2014 and Victoria has run the London Marathon and cycled from Lands End to John o Groats to raise money for Target Ovarian Cancer.

 

Janos Balega presenting at Ask the Experts

Mr Janos Balega, Consultant Gynaecological Oncologist, Birmingham

Mr Janos Balega is a Consultant Gynaecological Oncologist in the Pan-Birmingham Gynaecological Cancer Centre based at City Hospital, Birmingham. He has special expertise in radical ovarian cancer surgery and runs courses to teach colleagues on advanced surgical techniques. 

 

Alison Farmer

 Dr Alison Farmer, Oncology Nurse, Southampton


"I originally trained as a nurse and later switched to research. I completed a Ph.D., looking at the psychological aspects of breast cancer, in 1996. After working as a Teaching Fellow at the University of Southampton for a number of years I decided to return to nursing and put some of the theory into practice. I now work as a Psycho-oncology Nurse Specialist. I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2001 and my experience of surgery and chemotherapy has given me valuable insight into the physical and psychological consequences of the disease".
 

Richard Edmondson

Professor Richard Edmondson, Professor of Gynaecological Oncology, Manchester

Professor Richard Edmondson is based in Manchester. His role is split between looking after patients at St Mary's Hospital Manchester, one of the biggest women's hospitals in Europe, and carrying out research within the Manchester Cancer Research Centre based at the University of Manchester. As well as treating patients with all types of gynaecological cancers, he leads a research team developing new ways to target treatments, including surgery, to ensure that patients get the best treatment at each particular stage of their cancer pathway. 

 

Lynn Holmes

Lynn Buckley, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Hull

Lynn lives & works in Yorkshire as a gynae-oncology clinical nurse specialist at Castle Hill Hospital and a psychosexual therapist at the Leger Clinic. She has over 20 years’ experience working with all aspects of gynaecological cancers, supporting hundreds of women through their cancer journey. Her special interest is in late effects of treatments especially relating to sexual difficulties.

Richard Kennedy

Professor Richard Kennedy, Consultant Medical Oncologist, Belfast

Richard graduated in medicine from Queen’s University Belfast in 1995. In 2004 he was awarded a PhD in molecular biology and from 2004-2007 he worked as an instructor in oncology at Harvard Medical School, USA, where he identified novel biomarkers and drug targets for cancer treatment

Iain McNeish

Professor Iain McNeish, Consultant Medical Oncologist, Glasgow

Iain McNeish became Professor of Gynaecological Oncology at the Institute of Cancer Sciences, University of Glasgow in 2012. Previously, he trained in medicine at the University of Oxford from 1986 to 1992. After graduating, he undertook junior medical jobs in Oxford and Glasgow from 1992 until 1995. He was then an MRC Clinical Fellow at the University of Birmingham until 1998 and an ICRF/Cancer Research UK Clinician Scientist from 1999 to 2007. 

From 2007 until 2012, he was an MRC Senior Clinical Fellow at Barts Cancer Institute, London. He runs a lab that specialises in developing novel biological therapies for ovarian cancer including gene and viral therapies, as well as understanding the fundamental biology of ovarian cancer. 

Clinically, he is a consultant medical oncologist at the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer. He has been a member of the NCRI Gynaecological Clinical Studies Group since 2006 and chaired the ovarian subgroup from 2009 – 2014. In April 2014, he was appointed Chair of the Gynae CSG. He also represents the UK on the Gynecologic Cancer Intergroup.

 

Alex Murray

Dr Alex Murray, Consultant Clinical Geneticist, Cardiff

Alex trained at Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School in London, qualifying in 1993. After general professional training in Plymouth, she worked in Wellington, New Zealand and on her return to the UK in 2000 she started her career in clinical genetics. She worked in Oxford and Cambridge Regional Genetics Centres before moving to Cardiff to complete her training with the All Wales Medical Genetics Service. She was appointed to her current post as a Consultant Clinical Geneticist within the All Wales Medical Genetics Service in 2005, specialising in cancer genetics and neurogenetics.

She divides her time between South East and South West Wales, holding regular clinics at the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff and Singleton Hospital, Swansea. Alex is the Clinical Lead for the All Wales Cancer Genetics Service and is a member of the Wales Cancer Network. She has a particular interest in Familial Breast & Ovarian Cancer and is passionate about improving cancer and genetics services for patients and families in Wales

 

Marc Tischkowitz

Dr Marc Tischkowitz, Honorary Consultant, Department of Medical Genetics, Cambridge

Dr Marc Tischkowitz is a University Reader and Honorary Consultant in the Department of Medical Genetics, Cambridge. He completed his medical degree in 1993 and trained Medical Oncology before completing his specialisation in Medical Genetics. From 1999-2002 he undertook a PhD researching the role of Fanconi anemia gene mutations in the development of sporadic acute myeloid leukaemia. He held a Consultant post at Great Ormond Street Hospital before moving to McGill University, Montreal in 2005 where he worked on faculty for six years before coming to Cambridge.

Much of his research has been on the Fanconi Anemia genes and hereditary breast and ovarian cancer predisposition but his interests cover all areas of hereditary cancer and at present he is focussed on translating the recent advances in genomic technology into clinical practice. He was  the Lead Investigator for the GTEOC study which is funded by Target Ovarian Cancer. This study pioneered an innovative method of service delivery for BRCA1/2 testing in ovarian cancer. The study finished in 2016 and he is currently implementing the findings in the NHS clinical service

Lisa Young

Lisa Young, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Southampton

Lisa works as a Macmillan Gynae/oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist in Southampton and has been in this role now for nine years. She has worked in a cancer care setting for over 20 years and has supported women and their families throughout each stage of their cancer journey. Lisa has a special interest in helping women regain a sense of their own identity after diagnosis and treatment.