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What are we campaigning for?

Target Ovarian Cancer research found that nearly half of women are waiting three months or more from first approaching their GP to receiving a diagnosis.

It is vital that more women know the symptoms of ovarian cancer so they visit their GP at the earliest opportunity but also that GPs can refer women for diagnostic tests promptly and the route towards receiving a diagnosis is as short as possible.

What needs to change?

  • Guidelines for diagnosing ovarian cancer: England, Wales and Northern Ireland follow guidelines that recommend women with possible symptoms of ovarian cancer are referred for a CA125 blood test. If this measures higher than normal levels of CA125 protein, GPs should then refer women for an ultrasound. In Scotland however, where different guidelines are followed, women can be referred for a CA125 blood test and an ultrasound at the same time. Target Ovarian Cancer is calling for this to be the case across the UK to speed up the time taken to diagnose ovarian cancer.
  • Rapid Diagnostic Centres: The NHS Long Term Plan commits to more Rapid Diagnostic Centres being rolled out. These centres are designed to help GPs when it isn’t clear or they are not sure where to refer a patient. Target Ovarian Cancer is calling for Rapid Diagnostic Centres to be rolled out across the country and accessible to all patients with vague or less specific symptoms.  
  • New targets: The Faster Diagnosis Standard was set out in the The NHS Long Term Plan. The target says that all patients suspected of having cancer should have cancer diagnosed or ruled out in 28 days. Target Ovarian Cancer will continue campaigning to ensure the target is met so women who may have ovarian cancer receive a diagnosis as soon as possible.  

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