September is Gynaecological Cancer Awareness Month (GCAM), a time for us to shine a spotlight on ovarian cancer - the UK’s most deadly gynaecological disease. A disease that’s often overlooked, misunderstood or misdiagnosed.
This September, we’ll be dispelling the myths, highlighting the facts, and asking you to help us reach the 90% of women who don’t know the four main symptoms. The earlier a woman is diagnosed with ovarian cancer, the better her chance of survival.
Together, we can help more women survive ovarian cancer than ever before.
What do you need to know?
Let’s start with the basics. There are five gynaecological cancers: cervical, vaginal, vulval, ovarian and womb. And at the moment, ovarian cancer causes more deaths each year than the other four gynaecological cancers combined.
Unlike cervical cancer, there is currently no screening programme for ovarian cancer (we’re working on it). Right now raising symptom awareness is the most powerful thing we can do to look after the women we love.
The four main symptoms of ovarian cancer are bloating, stomach pain, finding it hard to eat and needing to pee more. These can sometimes be confused with other conditions, such as IBS. But if they appear and are persistent, it's time to head straight to the GP.
This September, you can help more women recognise these symptoms and get diagnosed as soon as possible by taking action and raising awareness.
How can you take action this GCAM?
There are lots of ways you can help spread the word and raise awareness this month.
Sign up to receive our latest digital awareness packs
You’ll have access to new bite sized information, images, and more that you can share with your friends and family.
Order an awareness pack straight to your letterbox
Prefer paper? Order our Talking Ovaries awareness pack that includes posters, symptoms cards, symptoms diaries, ovarian cancer guides and more. We also have GP information & training packs available for healthcare professionals. Order your pack here.
Time is of the essence
“Raising awareness to improve early diagnosis is a vital part of OCA’s mission to give the women we love the very best chance of survival. And right now, time is of the essence. Before the Covid pandemic, more than 50% of ovarian cancer cases were diagnosed late due to a challenging combination of low awareness and vague symptoms. Now, coronavirus is deterring many women from seeking the medical help they need, putting even more lives at risk. That’s why, this Gynaecological Cancer Awareness Month, we’re calling on you - our dedicated and passionate community supporters - to help us empower women with the symptom information and confidence they need to contact their doctor quickly if there’s something wrong. GPs’ surgeries are open and we need to help women get there.”CEO of Ovarian Cancer Action, Cary Wakefield
With our income hugely affected by COVID-19, we’re reducing costs where we can to continue our life-saving work. Your continued support has meant we’ve been able to care for our community throughout lockdown and now we're determined to get our research back on track. Thank you.