One woman dies of ovarian cancer in the UK every two hours. Ovarian cancer survival rates are currently lower than breast cancer survival rates were in the 1970s. Despite this, the disease remains under-represented and underfunded compared to many other cancers.
We think this is unacceptable. The next generation deserves better. With your help we can continue to fund more ground-breaking research and increase awareness of ovarian cancer.
- Can we screen for ovarian cancer?
One in four women mistakenly thinks a smear test will detect ovarian cancer. Women who are diagnosed with Stage one ovarian cancer have a 93% survival rate, compared to just 13% of women who are diagnosed at Stage four. Professor Ahmed and his team at the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Oxford are working on developing a screening tool so future generations of women can catch the disease early and survive
- Why do some tumours become resistant to chemotherapy?
Chemotherapy is a very effective treatment for women with ovarian cancer when they are first diagnosed. Unfortunately in 70-90% of cases the cancer will reoccur, often having developed a resistance to chemotherapy. Professor Bob Brown at the Ovarian Cancer Action Research Centre (OCARC), Imperial College, London, has been studying how recurrent ovarian cancer tumours develop resistance to chemotherapy to try to find a way to stop this from happening.
- Can we use the body’s immune system to fight ovarian cancer?
Immunotherapy is a treatment that uses the body’s immune system to attack cancer cells. It is a much kinder form of treatment compared to chemotherapy and has already produced extraordinary results in types of lung cancer, melanoma and kidney cancer, and we’re confident that we can replicate these results for ovarian cancer in the future.
Raising awareness and reducing the risk of ovarian cancer
Around 1,200 of the 7,500 cases of ovarian cancer diagnosed every year are triggered by an inherited mutation in a patient’s BRCA genes. This mutation means their genes can’t do their usual job of preventing cancer cells from developing.
Men and women with a BRCA mutation have a 50% chance of passing it onto each of their children, and certain population groups have a higher prevalence of BRCA mutations. For example, 1 in 40 people with an Ashkenazi Jewish heritage, carry a BRCA gene mutation compared to 1 in 400 people in the general population. We raise awareness of hereditary risk, both with the public and healthcare professionals, to enable people to take risk-reducing action.
By leaving a legacy to Ovarian Cancer Action you can help ensure the next generation of women survive ovarian cancer.
“To be told you have ovarian cancer is devastating. Then imagine how you would feel if you then discovered that your cancers could have been prevented.”
Alison was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2014. Read her story.
“Just before she died, my wife said that if I were to give any funds to a charity, she would prefer that the charity be focused on finding a solution to this cancer. I’ve subsequently seen for myself that Ovarian Cancer Action is striving to do exactly that.”
Derrick lost his wife Sue to ovarian cancer. Read his story.