On 31st January Julia presented Ovarian Cancer Action’s BBC Lifeline Appeal. In her own words, Julia explains why she has chosen to support them in her new role as charity ambassador.
Ovarian cancer is the UK’s deadliest gynaecological disease and over 7,000 cases are diagnosed each year. Each one of these women is a daughter, a mother, a sister, a friend. Which is why I have chosen to support Ovarian Cancer Action. They work tirelessly to raise awareness of the symptoms of the disease and also fund vial scientific research into treatments for women who have to deal with a cancer diagnosis.
Here in the UK, a woman dies of ovarian cancer every two hours. Yet most of us haven’t even heard of the disease, let alone its symptoms, which are often mistaken for less serious conditions such as IBS or even the menopause.
One in four women mistakenly think their smear test will detect the disease – it doesn’t! Whilst Ovarian Cancer Action’s scientists work hard to develop a screening tool for ovarian cancer, knowing the symptoms is vital.
Ovarian cancer has four main symptoms: persistent stomach pain, persistent bloating, difficulty eating/feeling full more quickly and needing to wee more frequently. Often these symptoms can be hiding in plain sight so we must be vigilant.
In my new role as ambassador, I’m determined to use my voice to raise awareness of the disease and challenge the inequalities that exist around women’s health to ensure anyone facing a diagnosis has the best chance of survival.
Together we can help more women survive ovarian cancer.