Joan and Val, Target Ovarian Cancer nurse advisers
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Posted by Support Line nurse specialists on Friday 24 November 2017

Three quarters of women with ovarian cancer say they do not get the support they need to cope with their diagnosis. We are committed to better support for women with ovarian cancer and their loved ones, and our Support Line has already supported hundreds of women concerned about or diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Our two nurse advisers Val and Joan tell us why their new role is so important: 

Nurse adviser Val Lang

I am one of the two nurse advisers on the Target Ovarian Cancer Support Line.  I have spent an amazing 30-year career in women’s health, including gynaecology, colposcopy, and sexual health. Most recently I worked as a gynae oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), supporting women with gynaecological cancers – including ovarian cancer – from diagnosis right through treatment including surgery and chemotherapy.

Being a Clinical Nurse Specialist is incredible. I met my patients at diagnosis and then stayed with those women throughout their treatment and beyond. It was a privilege to support women at such a difficult point in their lives.

Being a nurse adviser on Target Ovarian Cancer’s Support Line is a new and exciting challenge. Having worked as a Clinical Nurse Specialist, I am well aware of the pressures of the job – and we’ll be working to support other healthcare professionals, including nurses.

Our Support Line is for anyone affected by ovarian cancer - from women who have concerns about symptoms to women who are diagnosed and in treatment or those who are now in remission. We are also here to support family and friends - we have seen for ourselves the impact of ovarian cancer on everyone that it reaches.

Better support for women and their loved ones is at the centre of all we wish to achieve.

Nurse adviser Joan Idris

I spent many years working as a research nurse in clinical trials, mostly looking at new ways to treat ovarian cancer.  I helped and supported people through their treatments, giving them information about chemotherapy and surgery, along with all the extra tests and investigations that were needed.

I found it incredibly rewarding because I knew it was helping to improve treatments for ovarian cancer – and people’s experiences of those treatments. It is inspiring and heart-warming to see the resilience people show in difficult circumstances. More recently I have worked as a helpline and information specialist nurse for another cancer charity - a similar role to Target Ovarian Cancer's nurse advisers.

For me, the most rewarding thing about being a nurse adviser is that it makes a real difference to people, giving them the time they need to talk about what is happening to them and the space to think things through clearly before making important decisions. Val and I also look forward to creating links with other nurses and health professionals with the common goal of improving support and care for women with ovarian cancer throughout the UK.

Target Ovarian Cancer's nurse-led Support Line

Our nurse-led Support Line provides confidential information, support and signposting for anyone affected by ovarian cancer. It provides a safe, confidential place to discuss concerns, from symptoms to diagnosis, treatment and beyond. Our nurse advisers aim to bring you the clearest information about ovarian cancer, at a time and in a way that’s best for you.

We are open Monday-Friday, 9am-5.30pm.

Call on 020 7923 5475 or email