It's time to TAKE OVAR
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Posted by Target Ovarian Cancer on Wednesday 11 October 2017

Ovarian cancer research lags worryingly behind research into other cancers putting generations of UK women at risk, according to figures released today by Target Ovarian Cancer.

A serious decline in funding for ovarian cancer research comes at a time of a projected 15 per cent rise in the incidence rates of the disease to 2035, meaning UK woman are facing a demographic ‘time bomb’ in ovarian cancer.

Target Ovarian Cancer believes women in the UK now face a triple threat which needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency:

  • Funding for new research has dropped by one third (34 per cent) in the past five years.1
  • The overwhelming majority of women with ovarian cancer diagnosed today will receive the same treatment patients were being prescribed 20 years ago.2
  • Incidence rates are rising – with a projected 15 per cent spike in the years up to 2035.3

Target Ovarian Cancer is launching a new three-year campaign – TAKE OVAR – that aims to accelerate change and 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.

“There is an urgent need to increase research efforts and avoid the impending time bomb that women face in ovarian cancer”, according to Target Ovarian Cancer Chief Executive Annwen Jones.

“Great improvements have been made in other women’s cancers – more women than ever survive breast cancer, and we have national screening and immunisation programmes for cervical cancer. Yet no similar innovation has been made in ovarian cancer, which kills more women every year than any other gynaecological cancer. There is chronic underfunding in ovarian cancer compared to other cancers. Enough is enough. We must act to transform the lives of women with ovarian cancer now, before it’s too late.”

Combined National Cancer Research Institute partner spend on ovarian cancer has decreased from £12.9m (2011) to £8.5m (2016); a decrease of 34 per cent in five years.1

Research spend has decreased by a third in five years

“We need to get better at diagnosing ovarian cancer earlier, and we need more effective medicines to treat it at an advanced stage, which is why a national campaign is so important” commented Professor Ruth Plummer, who is Chair of Target Ovarian Cancer’s Scientific Advisory Board. “So much in our everyday lives as been transformed in the past 20 years, yet women with ovarian cancer only have access to treatments discovered decades ago, with one or two exceptions. This is not good enough. We urgently need more investment in research so ovarian cancer can catch up.”

Ovarian cancer can be a devastating disease. 11 women die every day and ovarian cancer faces chronic underfunding compared with other cancers. Awareness of the ovarian cancer is low, both among women and GPs, with two thirds of women diagnosed once the cancer has already spread.

Enough is enough. It’s time to TAKE OVAR. Together we can make sure women in the UK have the best chances of surviving ovarian cancer.

It's time to TAKE OVAR

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  1. National Cancer Research Institute Accessed October 2017
  2. Only two new ovarian cancer treatments – bevacizumab and olaparib – have been made available in the past two decades compared with at least 20 treatments developed for breast cancer during the same period. Very few women are eligible for either ovarian cancer treatment.
  3. Cancer Research UK Accessed October 2017
  4. Cancer Research UK Accessed October 2017
  5. Cancer Research UK Accessed October 2017