Today, new analysis by Target Ovarian Cancer has revealed that women with ovarian cancer are facing a severe lack of support.
Research, from Public Health England, shows that a fifth (19 per cent) of women with ovarian cancer are not receiving any information or advice on the physical or emotional impact of living with a cancer diagnosis. This is despite the fact that at the point of completing the survey, over half of women reported having difficulties with anxiety or depression and a similar number reported experiencing pain or discomfort.
When asked, a third of women said they would have found more advice or information on the physical (32 per cent) and psychological or emotional (34 per cent) aspects of living with or after ovarian cancer helpful.
A cancer diagnosis can leave women and their families feeling powerless. Good quality, timely advice and information can help them take charge of their treatment and put in place some of the practical and emotional support they need.
Every year 7,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer and 4,300 lose their lives to the disease. 1,200 women under 50 are diagnosed.
Katherine Pinder, Head of Supportive Services for Target Ovarian Cancer, said: “It’s really alarming that so many women are not getting the information and advice they need when they are diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Providing this sort of advice can make a huge difference to how a woman faces their cancer diagnosis."
Practical and emotional support
Katherine continues: “Being diagnosed with ovarian cancer can be incredibly isolating. Many women will face issues such as isolation, fear of recurrence and death, loss of meaning in life, financial hardship, and family and relationship problems. These are serious, and women need practical and emotional support to help them cope. Yet the time available from clinical nurse specialists is limited and many women are left feeling alone and hopeless."
“That’s why Target Ovarian Cancer provides additional support, through events such as our Being Together and Supporting You days, publications such as What Happens Next and Back Here Again, and professional online information and advice from our Ask the Experts panel. No woman should face a diagnosis of ovarian cancer alone.”