World Ovarian Cancer Day 2019

WOCD collage

Find out why we handed out 33,000 white roses across the UK on Wednesday 8th May and how our amazing supporters took action with us by raising awareness and funding vital research!

Women deserve better

A woman dies from ovarian cancer every two hours in the UK — more than all the other gynaecological cancers (cervical, womb, vulval, vaginal) combined — yet the diagnosis is often slow and treatment options limited. What’s more, the UK has one of the worst ovarian cancer survival rates in Europe.

Early detection is our best means of improving these survival rates, yet 82% of UK women are unable to name the four main symptoms of ovarian cancer. We are determined to change this, but we need your help.

How we took action

May 8th is World Ovarian Cancer Day and this year 160 of our incredible supporters handed out 33,000 white roses with symptoms cards attached in cities across the UK. Each rose served to represent a British woman living with the disease and acts as a symbol of hope for a world without ovarian cancer.

We also shone a spotlight on our committment to funding research that saves lives by attacking the problem at every level; from developing better treatments so women with the disease can live longer, to developing a screening tool to ensure it is caught in its earliest stage.

Our CEO Cary Wakefield kicked off WOCD, joining supporter Anna Szalay on the BBC Breakfast sofa. Anna spoke eloquently about her own experience of diagnosis, aged just 19 and Cary explained why earlier diagnosis is so vital if we’re to see an improvement in survival rates in the UK.

We also saw politicians (including Prime Minister Theresa May) in England, Scotland and Wales uniting behind the campaign. They wore white roses and pledged their support for earlier diagnosis.

Special thanks also goes to our corporate partners for their support with this campaign: Paperchase, NEX, NatWest, Pureology and Hearst.

We couldn’t have done it without you!


160 incredible volunteers across 25 UK locations braved the British weather and took to the streets to spread the word about ovarian cancer and its symptoms. We’re so grateful for their energy, enthusiasm and commitment to creating a better future for women. To find out about future volunteering opportunities, click here.

Spreading the word online

We were spotted handing out roses at locations across the UK from Bristol to Birmingam to Belfast — and everywhere in between (see map below)! Our supporters helped us spread the word online by sharing photos of their roses on on Twitter and Instagram, using the hashtag #WOCD. Our voices are louder together and it was incredible to see so many of you sharing potentially life-saving information with your friends and family this World Ovarian Cancer Day.


World Ovarian Cancer Day is an amazing opportunity to shout as loud as we can about the disease and its symptoms but it's just the tip of the iceberg. All year round our scientists at the Ovarian Cancer Research Centre, The University of Oxford and beyond are working to find the next breakthrough in ovarian cancer research. Your donation will support the work they do each and every day. Donate now.

World Ovarian Cancer Day map