This week we’re publishing our Annual Report, which looks back on the progress made during the financial year 2013-14. I’m pleased that, together, we have again taken major strides forward in each of the key areas of our work – earlier diagnosis, better treatments, more support. I’m also pleased that, together, we continue to attract the support of funders in what remains a very difficult environment for charities, and I would like to thank all of our supporters for helping to raise over £1.45m during the past year.
Thanks to the unerring commitment of so many tireless supporters and campaigners, we achieved several breakthroughs on the symptoms awareness front. We convinced Public Health England to roll out a Be Clear on Cancer television campaign on ovarian cancer across the North West of England. We’re thrilled that ovarian cancer has now been included in Detect Cancer Early in Scotland and, thanks to the greatly missed Una Crudden, in the Public Health Agency’s programme in Northern Ireland.
We passed another major milestone in our mission to save lives through earlier diagnosis as the proportion of GPs completing our online learning tools rose from 20 per cent to 27 per cent. And we launched a new training module on family history and ovarian cancer. Our thanks go to each and every one of these GPs for their commitment to diagnose ovarian cancer earlier and help identify families at risk.
Research and support
I was also pleased to see our unique national ovarian cancer research programme expand. We made a major investment in a research project at the University of Nottingham into the development of a new targeted therapy in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the US. And our Clinical Trials Information Centre, which helps more women throughout the UK take part in trials, received a prestigious award from the Association of Medical Research Charities.
Providing practical and emotional support to women diagnosed with ovarian cancer is a vital part of our work. I’m especially pleased therefore that we again substantially increased the reach of our supportive services during the year, with over 14,000 women with ovarian cancer accessing support through our events, guides and website.
Re-doubling our efforts
We should be proud of our achievements yet we all know that there is so much more that we urgently need to do. Shockingly, 15 per cent of women lose their lives within two months of diagnosis of ovarian cancer. Many more have their lives shortened because of late diagnosis. And we also urgently need to find new treatments that not only delay a recurrence but, crucially, also improve overall survival.
We have ambitious plans to save lives and help women with ovarian cancer enjoy the best possible quality of life. So please, let’s resolve to re-double our efforts in 2015 and make it another breakthrough year for women with ovarian cancer and their families.
With heartfelt thanks and admiration for all that you do.