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Addressing health inequalities for women with ovarian cancer.

At Ovarian Cancer Action we believe all patients deserve access to the best treatment and care regardless of age, geography or background.

Ovarian Cancer Action Improve UK Map.png

IMPROVE UK is a groundbreaking programme to tackle health inequalities for women with ovarian cancer. 

The background

In 2020, Ovarian Cancer Action secured over £1million from the Tampon Tax fund to launch a project to tackle systemic and regional health inequalities for women with ovarian cancer. 

The best survival rates in the UK match the highest in the world, and yet we currently have one of the poorest average 5yr survival rates in Europe. The Ovarian Cancer Audit Feasibility Pilot had shone a spotlight on the inequalities faced by women with ovarian cancer based on where they live, their age and ethnicity. Examples that were raised included:

  • 5 yr survival rates range from 29% to 50% across different regions.  

  • Women over the age of 70 are significantly less likely to receive any treatment than their younger counterparts 

  • There is less uptake of important genetic testing in patients from BAME groups  

The plan

IMPROVE UK is the first major programme to address these inequalities and build an infrastructure to develop a legacy of best practice sharing up and down the country. Ultimately, this will improve survival rates and address inequalities in care for all women with ovarian cancer in the UK regardless of where they live, their age or ethnicity.

We have now awarded the first grants for pilot projects that seek to address these inequalities directly in NHS Cancer Centres.  At the end of the programme, the pilots will share their learnings with other Centres across the UK. 

This programme is supported by the British Gynaecological Cancer Society (BGCS), the ovarian cancer patient support charity Ovacome and a dedicated Patient Advisory Group.  

With thanks to the Expert Advisory Group supporting the programme: Professor Sudha Sundar (Chair), Professor Iain McNeish (Vice Chair), Dr Rebecca Bowen, Dr Andy Phillips and Professor Mary Wells.

Find out more about the seven pilot projects and what they're hoping to achieve

Selected Pages

The Outcome

With £1million of funding from the Tampon Tax fund, we launched IMPROVE UK - a a groundbreaking programme to tackle health inequalities for women with ovarian cancer. This is what the project achieved over the first year of funding.

Find out more