I wrote to my MP as part of your postcode lottery campaign back in June. What is the impact of me doing this? Do you collect data about women’s experiences of ovarian cancer to share with them?
The Postcode Lottery campaign had a huge impact on parliamentarians. Over 80 MPs attended the campaign launch, including the Minister for Public Health. You can check on our website to see if your MP was there here. By having that many MPs attend, it has paved the way for us to get more MPs signed up to the All-Party Parliamentary Group for ovarian Cancer, meet and brief individual MPs who've asked us for more information following the campaign launch and further raise the profile of ovarian cancer with the Minister. As a result of the campaign launch the Minister has also met with all the ovarian cancer charities in September to talk about how we can work with the Government to improve diagnosis and treatment for women with ovarian cancer. Even if your MP did not come to the campaign launch, with all MPs there's a tipping point, and as you've now placed ovarian cancer on their radar, it may be that next time they hear something in the news, receive an invite to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Ovarian Cancer or are approached by another constituent, they are more likely to get involved.
In terms of collecting data, Target Ovarian Cancer carries out its Pathfinder Study every three to four years. This includes a survey of women with ovarian cancer, GPs, clinicians and women in the general population. It aims to find out about awareness of the symptoms of ovarian cancer, women's experience of diagnosis and treatment and the views and attitudes of GPs and clinicians. You can find out more about our Pathfinder 2016 study here. Once we've completed the research we'll publish all our findings on our website. We are also working with the National Cancer Intelligence Network, who analyse and publish data collected by the government, on improving the data available about ovarian cancer.