Today, Target Ovarian Cancer and women with ovarian cancer from across the UK will take over the Houses of Parliament to transform the futures of more than 25,000 women in the UK who are living with ovarian cancer – and thousands more who are yet to be diagnosed.
Today we march on the Houses of Parliament
Today we march on parliament to show the need to take action now to save lives. Armed with our award-winning Pathfinder research, we will come together with policymakers including Steve Brine, the Minister for Public Health and Primary Care, to build on the successes we have already seen in the last year and save lives.
Today we celebrate
Since we launched Pathfinder 2016, we have seen great strides forward with the actions we set for parliamentary representatives, health bodies and ourselves.
- Ovarian cancer has been made part of a new Be Clear on Cancer awareness campaign after Pathfinder found that just one in five women were able to name bloating as a symptom of the disease.
- Pathfinder also revealed that women with recurrent ovarian cancer are not receiving the same level of support as when first diagnosed. So we met with the Minister for Community Health and Care and secured a commitment to produce a new set of guidelines dealing specifically with recurrent ovarian cancer.
- Finally, we launched Pathfinder reports in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. We held events in the Scottish Government, the Welsh Assembly and the Northern Ireland Assembly – bringing together supporters and political representatives to hear about the importance of Pathfinder for themselves.
Today we build on our achievements
Today we are launching our Pathfinder England report. Pathfinder England reveals a similar, worrying trend to the rest of the UK. There is an acute lack of awareness of the symptoms of ovarian cancer and a continuing need to educate GPs about ovarian cancer.
Together with our supporters and women with ovarian cancer from across the UK, in parliament today we are calling on the Minister to put pressure on the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence to deliver their commitment to women with recurrent ovarian cancer and to grow on the initial success of the Be Clear on Cancer pilot that took place in March. We need him to be a champion for women with ovarian cancer, to challenge perceptions and to transform outcomes.
Today we TAKE OVAR
Enough is enough. Together we can make sure women have the best chances of survival.
Target Ovarian Cancer’s new campaign – It’s time to TAKE OVAR – brings together all those who are affected by ovarian cancer to raise awareness, fund research and save lives.
Target Ovarian Cancer’s Chief Executive, Annwen Jones, said: “There is a chronic lack of awareness and funding for ovarian cancer, and that is why we are taking over the Houses of Parliament today. We urgently need a national awareness programme for ovarian cancer and investment in research into new treatments. We have seen enormous advances in other cancers, but ovarian cancer is lagging behind. With investment, we know we could see similar progress. We must act now to transform the lives of women with ovarian cancer, before it’s too late. It’s time to take over.”
Helen Heagren, 52, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2016 and is speaking at today’s Pathfinder event, said: “If I didn't know my body, I wouldn't have gone to the GP. Women and GPs need to know more about ovarian cancer. I’m proud to be telling my story at parliament today, so more can be done to help others in my situation. There hasn’t been enough progress in ovarian cancer – it’s time to take over and save lives.”