Target Ovarian Cancer's six simple steps: An MP's guide to ovarian cancer
New and returning Members of Parliament are invited to champion ovarian cancer through Target Ovarian Cancer's six simple steps campaign.
Around 40 women with ovarian cancer helped launch the campaign in June 2010 at a Parliamentary Reception. A midterm report was then launched in June 2012.
The campaign saw every MP receive a personalised guide to ovarian cancer, outlining simple steps they can take during their time in Parliament to help save up to 500 women's lives. This represents the number of women who could be saved if only we were able to match average survival rates in Europe.
In the guide, examples are given as to how MPs might support some of these steps, either in their own constituency or at a national level.
The six simple steps are to
- ensure studies examining why UK survival rates are so low in comparison to others are completed and remedial action taken
- improve awareness of symptoms amongst women and health professionals by supporting both local and national initiatives
- ensure all GPs have access to urgent diagnostic tests
- ensure all women have access to a clinical nurse specialist
- improve levels of emotional support available to women and
- ensure women have equitable access to clinical trials and new treatments
MPs, in addition to receiving the guide, have been given a personalised pledge card which they can use to pledge support for at least one of the six simple steps during the parliamentary term. They can either return the card to us, or fill in their pledge online.
At the launch event, mother of five, Eilish Colclough put forward her personal challenge to the MPs attending, many of whom met with their own constituents:
"Charities and volunteers like myself are working hard to publicise symptoms. But until parliamentary champions actually step forward and take up the gauntlet of improving survival, I fear many thousands of women will continue to lose their lives unnecessarily."
John Baron MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Cancer also spoke at the event:
"The newly-elected Parliament has a critical role to play in ensuring women with ovarian cancer are diagnosed quickly and treated successfully. I therefore support Target Ovarian Cancer's campaign on this issue."
If you are an MP who has yet to submit your pledge - please do so using the link on the right hand side.
If you are a woman who has ovarian cancer, please consider contacting your MP to find out if they have yet committed to taking at least one of the six simple steps. To find the name and contact details, use the link on the right hand side. You will need to let them know your name, address and postcode so that they can verify you are their constituent. Why not tell them your experience of being diagnosed, and living with ovarian cancer? Also consider telling them which steps you think are really important.