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Posted by Target Ovarian Cancer on Tuesday 29 June 2010

Aimed at finding cross-party parliamentary champions interested in helping women in their consituencies and nationally live a longer and better life, MPs are being asked to commit to taking at least one of our six simple steps.

At a reception to be held later today in the House of Commons 200 people will gather including women with ovarian cancer, MPs, nurses, clinicians, policy makers and supporters of Target Ovarian Cancer to hear how by taking six simple steps the lives of up to 400 women can be saved each year.

That would mean the UK would then have the same rates for survival as the average figure in Europe.

The reception, hosted by Sharon Hodgson MP, will also see the Chair of the All Party Group on cancer John Baron MP give his support for the campaign: "The newly-elected Parliament has a critical role to play in ensuring women with ovarian cancer are diagnosed quickly and treated successfully. I therefore support Target Ovarian Cancer's campaign on this issue."

Women from around the country will be meeting their MPs to let them know about their experiences of being diagnosed and living with ovarian cancer and asking them to sign personalised pledge cards. Target Ovarian Cancer supporter Eilish Colclough, a 42 year-old mother-of-five from Derbyshire who is living with advanced ovarian cancer, will deliver a personal challenge to those MPs present using her own story to highlight why action is so urgently needed.

Target Ovarian Cancer's Director of Public Affairs, Frances Reid says it is an excellent opportunity to reach out to members of the new Parliament:

"It is a year since we launched the Target Ovarian Cancer Pathfinder Study and it has already given us a very clear steer on simple steps that can be taken to give women as good a chance as possible of surviving this disease. We have already started a number of work programmes to help with this but MPs can bring their enormous influence to bear both locally and nationally to see that we do not miss simple opportunities that are there for progress. This is important both for survival and quality of life of women affected both now and in the future.

"We have already been working closely with Sharon Hodgson MP, Mark Simmonds MP, and Russell Brown MP. We are delighted that John Baron MP is also supporting our campaign. However we need many more MPs from all parties to step forward and commit to taking at least one of our six simple steps."

Each and every MP, whether or not they attend the event, will receive a personalised guide to ovarian cancer together with their pledge card which they return to us. Alternatively they can fill in the pledge online.

Target Ovarian Cancer urges all its supporters to contact their local MP to ask if they have signed their six simple steps pledge. To do this you will need to give your name address and postcode so that your MP knows for certain you are a constituent. Let them know why you would like to see them support this campaign - if you have personal experience then take an opportunity to share it with them. To find your MP their email address and other contact details use the link below and enter your postcode.

The launch of the campaign has been covered by ITN.