Awareness is important. A woman is more likely to visit her GP sooner if she knows the symptoms of ovarian cancer, increasing her chances of being diagnosed earlier – or having cancer ruled out as a cause. But our Pathfinder study found that just one in five women can name one of the main symptoms of ovarian cancer – bloating. This must change.
When we launched Pathfinder 2016, the Minister for Community Health and Care and his team committed to working with Target Ovarian Cancer on delivering the recommendations set out and we campaigned hard for bloating to feature in a regional Be Clear on Cancer pilot awareness campaign, launching today in the West and East Midlands.
Target Ovarian Cancer has been campaigning for a government-backed, ovarian cancer-specific awareness campaign for eight years, since the charity was founded. We have been instrumental in other pilots regionally and are still awaiting the final results of these. However today’s ‘tummy troubles’ campaign features a range of symptoms common to one site in the body. While we are pleased to see bloating feature in this campaign, we will not stop campaigning for an ovarian-specific campaign, raising awareness in the key target audiences of women over 50, those who are most at risk of developing the disease.
Annwen Jones, Chief Executive of Target Ovarian Cancer, said: “Awareness of every symptom of ovarian cancer is low. Thanks to Pathfinder, we were able to campaign for Public Health England to include bloating in this regional pilot – but we will continue to push for all symptoms of ovarian cancer to be included in a nationwide ovarian cancer awareness campaign. This will help save lives and see more women diagnosed earlier.”
We welcome your feedback on today’s Be Clear on Cancer regional awareness campaign. Please let us know in the comments below.