An event in Glasgow brought together women with ovarian cancer, GPs and health educators to launch Target Ovarian Cancer’s new ovarian cancer toolkit for GPs.
Crucial role in diagnosing ovarian cancer
The role of GPs in diagnosing ovarian cancer early is crucial, but diagnosis is not always easy. Target Ovarian Cancer works closely with GPs to support them in diagnosing women early, and in giving the best support to the women they work with. This autumn, Target Ovarian Cancer will provide all GP practices in Scotland with a toolkit of resources designed to update GP knowledge of ovarian cancer symptoms and support them in their day-to-day practice.
Included in the toolkit is a brand new flag pen developed specifically for GPs in Scotland, designed to enhance their knowledge of the guidance that is available from SIGN and the Scottish referral guidelines for suspected gynaecological cancer.
Evolution of referral guidelines
The launch event was held in the Thistle Hotel in Glasgow to coincide with the publication of the new Scottish referral guidelines for suspected gynaecological cancer. Annwen Jones, CEO of Target Ovarian Cancer, came to the event directly from the studios of STV, where she and ovarian cancer survivor Rona Passmore had been interviewed for the evening news. Annwen gave a passionate call to action, highlighting the specific symptoms that might suggest ovarian cancer, and describing how our toolkit will help to support GPs in Scotland refer symptomatic women appropriately.
Dr Peter Hutchison, Chair of the Scottish Primary Care Cancer Group and Vice Chair of the Scottish Referral Guidelines Group, spoke to us about the evolution of the referral guidelines. These guidelines are now in line with SIGN guidance and offer a clear pathway to GPs, encouraging them to carry out both a CA125 and an urgent pelvic ultrasound if they suspect ovarian cancer. Dr Hutchison and his colleagues welcomed our initiative as a great support to the new guidelines.
Both sides of the story
Rona Passmore rounded up the presentations by telling us her own story of diagnosis and treatment. This was followed by a lively discussion, where women and their carers had a wonderful opportunity to talk to a number of GPs, health educators and policy makers. It was fascinating for all to hear both sides of the story, and to hear of some of the difficulties and dilemmas faced by GPs. Dr Bob Grant, Chair of the Referrals Guidelines for Suspected Cancer Group and a cancer survivor, is a leading influence on the Scottish cancer scene. He described the job of being a GP as “a profession but also an art”.
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