The British Gynaecological Cancer Society, Ovarian Cancer Action and Target Ovarian Cancer, in partnership with the National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service (NCRAS) have today announced a joint project to map ovarian cancer care, surgery and survival across the NHS for the first time.
Nearly 6,500 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer in England each year. While there have been significant improvements in diagnosis and treatment in recent years, survival rates still trail those of other cancers and just 43 per cent of women in England survive five or more years after diagnosis.
The jointly-funded ovarian cancer audit feasibility pilot in England will prepare the ground for a crucial full-scale clinical audit in ovarian cancer, which has not been seen before. The UK government funds clinical audits in other diseases and conditions mapping care pathways, surgery and survival and addressing regional variation. Currently there are clinical audits for cancers including lung, bowel, breast (in women over 70) and oesophago-gastric.
The ovarian cancer pilot will explore a new approach to clinical audits. Rather than collecting new data, it will make use of data that is collected by gynae-oncology teams across the country right now, and collated, maintained and quality assured by NCRAS. If successful it is hoped the ovarian cancer audit feasibility pilot results in a regular audit of ovarian cancer to drive improvements in clinical practice as well as providing a model that can be rolled out across other cancers. While the pilot is England only, the long-term aspiration is to see audits take place across all four UK nations.
President of the British Gynaecological Cancer Society, Mr Andy Nordin, said “There is a real commitment across the ovarian cancer clinical community to further improve outcomes for women with ovarian cancer. The British Gynaecological Cancer Society is at the forefront of this work and this pilot marks an exciting step forward in delivering real improvements in the care and treatment of ovarian cancer.”
Chief Executive of Ovarian Cancer Action, Cary Wakefield, said “The UK has some of the worst ovarian cancer survival rates in Europe. We are funding this pilot to improve the diagnosis and treatment of this insidious disease, because women with ovarian cancer can’t wait.”
Chief Executive of Target Ovarian Cancer, Annwen Jones, said “We know there is huge variation when it comes to diagnosing and treating ovarian cancer. This pilot is an exciting first step which we hope will lead to a full ovarian cancer audit; enabling a transformation in ovarian cancer care and treatment across the country.”
The pilot is jointly funded by The British Gynaecological Cancer Society, Target Ovarian Cancer and Ovarian Cancer Action and is being delivered by analysts at the National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service, part of Public Health England. The pilot will run for two years and will publish a range of data outputs on ovarian cancer throughout that time, including a final report on the audit and its findings, bringing all the analysis into one place.