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World Ovarian Cancer Day 2018: 7,400 roses

04 May 2018

White rose symptoms

Tuesday 8th May is World Ovarian Cancer Day and we joined forces with ovarian cancer communities from around the globe to raise awareness of the disease and highlight the need to fund research.

Ovarian Cancer Action marked the day by handing out 7,400 white roses across the UK — the number of women diagnosed with the disease each year. Each rose had a card attached detailing the four main symptoms of ovarian cancer, with the aim of arming as many women as possible with the knowledge that could potentially save their life.

Our scientists have made exciting progress in the field of early detection, but until a screening tool can be developed, symptom awareness remains our best defence against this devastating disease.

However, according to our findings from last year, 90% of woman still don’t know the four main symptoms.  Thankfully, our wonderful supporters joined forces with us to hand out the roses in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in a push to raise awareness of a disease that claims the life of a woman every two hours in the UK. 

Our supporters are as determined as we are to help create a positive change, by reaching out to women everywhere in a bid to inform, educate, and hopefully save lives.

Edinburgh Voice Christina Pacitti led the rose awareness drive in Scotland.  With the help of friends and family, she handed out roses and awareness cards to local residents, businesses and commuters throughout the day.

Christina says: “I was delighted to be part of Ovarian Cancer Action’s campaign for World Ovarian Cancer Day.  Giving out roses with symptoms cards attached is a lovely gesture.  I enlisted the help of friends and family to hand out 1,000 roses around Edinburgh on the day.  I began at Edinburgh Waverley Station in the morning, and visited local businesses and my GP surgery to give away more roses throughout the day.

“It was fantastic to get out there with my teal t-shirt on, brightening people’s day whilst raising vital awareness of ovarian cancer and its symptoms.”

Female celebrities and influencers also lent their support on World Ovarian Cancer Day by sharing photos of white rose bouquets with symptoms cards attached, kindly donated by OCA partner Bloom & Wild. The bloggers highlighted the common misconception that a smear test detects ovarian cancer and explain why symptom awareness is so important for women of all ages. With a combined Instagram following of over 1 million, (mainly female), followers, this is another fantastic way of arming a new audience of women with this vital information.

Madeleine Shaw (a Nutritional Therapist and best-selling cookery author),  This Morning's medical expert Zoe Williams and Cat Meffan (an influential Health & Fitness blogger) are just a few of the fantastic women who shared posts to help raise awareness this World Ovarian Cancer Day.

Cary Wakefield, Chief Executive of Ovarian Cancer Action, says: “We are so grateful to our wonderful supporters.  Ovarian cancer kills more women in the UK than the other gynaecological cancers combined.  Better awareness of the disease is vital if we are to see survival rates improve.  A woman diagnosed with stage 1 ovarian cancer has a 90% chance of surviving for five years, but this drops to 19% when she’s diagnosed late.  We currently rely on symptom-awareness to catch the disease early.  That’s why we’re encouraging women to learn the signs of ovarian cancer and to go to their GP if they feel something is wrong.” 

Do you know all the symptoms of ovarian cancer? Find out more here.