An ovarian cancer diagnosis can be devastating, no matter where you live. Survival rates are unacceptably low and it’s our mission to change them - but not just for women in England. Ovarian Cancer Action has a dedicated Regional Officer based in Wales, where treatment for ovarian cancer and survival rates have historically lagged behind the rest of the UK.
While recent figures have suggested there are no significant differences in five-year survival rates between Wales and England for any cancer, there is still much to do to improve the situation for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer. In particular, it can be a very complex disease to treat and so diagnosing as early as possible can be a significant part of survival.
Delays in diagnosis can be down to several factors, including poor recognition of signs and symptoms, especially among disadvantaged communities, and challenges accessing care and support in isolated rural areas. While these issues affect England too, the impact in Wales can be more pronounced, particularly if you take into account the fact that Wales has a relatively higher proportion of elderly people compared to other parts of the UK, with many retiring in rural areas, where healthcare shortages are most severe.
This is all part of the challenge for our Regional Officer, Alicia. She’s working hard to improve the lives of Welsh women and their families who are facing ovarian cancer — from giving awareness talks and fundraising to facilitating our public affairs work in Wales. She’s also increased our links with GP surgeries across the country, and secured Ovarian Cancer Action membership on the Wales Cancer Alliance, which works in partnership with the Welsh Government, the NHS, local government and other stakeholders, in order to develop and shape cancer policy in Wales.
She can’t do it alone though, which is why she’s always on the lookout for men and women in Wales who’ve been affected by ovarian cancer, to help share their story and raise awareness of the disease. From those who’ve lived through it, to those who’ve lost a loved one or face a high risk of the disease (like our Voice Emma Noon) — we need your help to improve the outlook for ovarian cancer in Wales.
If you’d like to get involved, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Are you a woman affected by ovarian cancer and living in Wales? We will be joining forces with Ovacome and Maggie's Centres to offer a free day of research, information and support in Cardiff on 27th March