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World Ovarian Cancer Day

World Ovarian Cancer Day 2020 white rose.png

World Ovarian Cancer Day takes place on 8th May.

It's a day when we highlight the issue of ovarian cancer around the globe to highlight what we need to do to reach a world where no woman dies of ovarian cancer. Take a look at what's coming in 2024 and how we have marked this occasion in the last couple of years.

World Ovarian Cancer Day 2024

The NHS has predicted to end cervical cancer by 2040. At the same time, 4.5 million* women will die of ovarian cancer across the world.

The earlier ovarian cancer is detected, the better chance a woman has of survival. Unlike cervical cancer though, there is currently no screening tool to detect the disease.

But thanks to our researcher's work to understand how ovarian cancer starts, we at Ovarian Cancer Action are on the brink of developing the world’s first ovarian cancer screening tool.

Pledge your support this World Ovarian Cancer Day and help us fight for more research into a screening tool. Sign up below to find out how we're working to create the same outcome as cervical cancer for ovarian cancer.

Pledge your support this World Ovarian Cancer Day

*Figures have been calculated using the World Health Organisation's Cancer Tomorrow Calculator.

How we've tackled World Ovarian Cancer Day in year's past

A white rose with a message in 2018

In 2018, we decided that traditional ways of raising awareness of ovarian cancer weren’t having as much impact as we wanted. We knew we needed to do something different to reach people with this important information.

With the help of volunteers we handed out 7,400 white roses around the UK to represent the 7,400 women diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the UK each year. Each rose had a tag tied to the stem with information about the symptoms of ovarian cancer and a request to photograph the rose and share online.

Female celebrities and influencers also lent their support by sharing photos of white rose bouquets with symptoms cards attached, kindly donated by our partner Bloom & Wild. They highlighted the common misconception that a smear test detects ovarian cancer and explained why symptom awareness is so important for women of all ages. Together they reached more than a million followers with this vital information.


Taking things to the next level in 2019

Following the previous year’s success, in 2019 we decided to go one stage further, recruiting volunteers from around the country to hand out 33,000 roses. Each rose served to represent a British woman living with the disease and act as a symbol of hope for a world without ovarian cancer.

Our CEO Cary Wakefield kicked off World Ovarian Cancer Day, joining supporter Anna Szalay on the BBC Breakfast sofa. 19 year old Anna spoke eloquently about her experience of ovarian cancer, and Cary explained why earlier diagnosis is so vital if we’re to see an improvement in survival rates in the UK.

Some incredible influencers again lent their support, including Hannah Witton and Maisie Hill. 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.


A year like no other - 2020

2020 was a year that no one could have planned for. We were determined to launch our third white rose campaign for World Ovarian Cancer Day, and that's exactly what we did, with a twist. As real life events were cancelled, we adapted our campaign to be completely digital and span the whole month of May. 

We asked you to create and share your own white roses, whether it was a drawing, origami, or knitting, alongside the symptoms of ovarian cancer to raise awareness. You did not disappoint! We saw roses made of everything from knickers to mashed potato, and everything in between.

The pictures of your creations became part of the UK’s largest digital rose garden. Take a look at some of the beautiful creations below.

Roses collage.jpg

Hiding in plain sight in 2021

We shook things up in 2021. We're always working towards a world where no woman dies of ovarian cancer because it's the UK’s deadliest gynaecological disease and survival rates are shockingly low – lower than breast cancer survival rates were in the 1970s. 

Instead of getting angry, we got inspired; inspired by the huge strides women have made through the breast cancer movement, energised by the scientific discoveries our researchers are making, and empowered by the thousands mobilising to take action. 

On World Ovarian Cancer Day (8th May) we highlighted the impact of ovarian cancer in an eye catching and bold way across social media (with a little help from our friends...) to reach millions of people with the message the cancer is hiding in plain sight.

With one woman dying of this disease every two hours in the UK, it's vital people take notice of the impact ovarian cancer is having on thousands of women and families across the UK, and what we're doing about it. 

Following the symptoms - 2022

In the build up to World Ovarian Cancer Day, in May 2022, we created four Twitter accounts symbolising the four main symptoms of ovarian cancer. These accounts followed thousands of people and what happened? They were mostly ignored.

In this video, we asked a group of women about them and one of them had a shocking revelation.

Please allow me to reintroduce myself - 2023

In 2023 we wanted to go back to basics and remind people what the problem is, why it's still a problem, and how they can help - by asking them to share our carousel of information on ovarian cancer. We reached millions of people and saw hundreds of engagements - empowering our community to know the stats and advocate for themselves if something doesn't feel right.

WOCD 2023 Twitter vid (700 x 400 px)

Where do you come in?

We’re so grateful for all the energy, enthusiasm, and commitment you give us to create a better future for women. To find out about future volunteering opportunities, click here.

Spreading the word online
Help us spread the word by re-sharing our content on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using the hashtag #WOCD, and if you don't already follow us today!

World Ovarian Cancer Day is an amazing opportunity to shout as loud as we can about the disease, 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.

Don't forget to subscribe to our enewsletter to keep up to date with this campaign and all of Ovarian Cancer Action's latest news and events.