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Posted by Target Ovarian Cancer on Tuesday 22 August 2017

Earlier this year we launched our first ever Target Ovarian Cancer essay prize in partnership with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, inspiring the next generation of health care professionals to learn about ovarian cancer. We were thrilled to receive an overwhelming response from across the UK. While our expert panel are rigorously marking the essays, we update on everything else we’re doing to increase awareness in healthcare professionals.

Our online training modules developed in collaboration with BMJ Learning and RCGP eLearning are at the core of our work. Over 40 per cent of GPs have completed one of our modules, giving the women they care for a better chance of an early diagnosis. Online modules are a quick and effective way for GPs to update knowledge and gain valuable continuing professional development points. We encourage all GPs to access one of our modules, promoting them at primary care conferences and GP education days.

Our GP Advisory Board, the only one of its kind in the UK focusing on ovarian cancer, gives us a broad range of experience and expertise to guide and influence our early diagnosis work. Earlier this year the Board published a landmark report, Regional variation in the diagnosis of ovarian cancer in England, to understand what early diagnosis looks like in different parts of the country. The report focuses on the best performing areas, offering us an opportunity to learn what enables these areas to lead the way in diagnosing ovarian cancer sooner.

Late diagnosis has been shown to contribute to poor one year survival rates for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the UK. Improving early diagnosis requires a multipronged approach including better public awareness of symptoms so that women visit the doctor quickly, educating primary care professionals so they can ensure women are on the correct diagnostic pathway sooner and campaigning for access to diagnostic tests. Health professionals have a responsibility to strive for improvement including looking at their own practice to see where they can bring about positive change. 

Thank you again to everyone who entered the essay prize, the winners will be announced at a special award ceremony at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in the new year.

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