Six Simple Steps - a mid-term report
In June 2010 we launched our Parliamentary Campaign, Six Simple Steps, urging MPs to take at least one of the six steps we identified could help save the lives of up to 500 women each year. This is the number of women who lose their lives each year just because our survival rates lag behind those of other countries. If our near neighbours can do better, why can't we?
110 MPs and Lords have been active in the past two years. The All Party Parliamentary Group on Ovarian Cancer was formed, and they've led the way in calling for ovarian cancer to be included in the Department of Health 'Be clear on cancer' campaigns. With 53 members they held a successful Westminster Hall debate in October 2011, which led to a private meeting with Care Services Minister, Paul Burstow MP.
The group, and Target Ovarian Cancer who provide secretariat for the group, have been told that ovarian cancer is now on the priority list for the work to take place in 2012/13, but is subject to final budgetary approvals. The announcement of whether the pilot campaigns will go ahead is due imminently.
With the increased access to diagnostic tests being rolled out, following a multimillion pound investment by the Government, it looks as though we are finally making progress on the two key issues of awareness and delays in diagnosis. However recent data from the Target Ovarian Cancer Pathfinder Study is showing that in the last year, one in ten GPs have had their requests for ovarian cancer tests refused. This means around 700 women will have had delays in getting their diagnosis, putting their lives at risk. This is unacceptable.
That's why we are urging MPs once again to be involved, and to take action, especially if they haven't before. The Six Simple Steps - mid-term report lays out what they can do, and the impact that can be achieved by meeting women living with the disease, and taking action.
To read the Six Simple Steps - mid-term report click here.