What is World Ovarian Cancer Day
May 8th is World Ovarian Cancer Day – an initiative of the World Ovarian Cancer Coalition. It provides an opportunity for women and organisations all around the world to join together and bring attention to ovarian cancer.
Cure Our Ovarian Cancer was honoured to be one of over 140 organisations marking this event.
Ovarian Cancer is a broad term encompassing many cancers
Internationally, each year, over 295 000 women are diagnosed, and over 184 000 women die of the disease. The term ovarian cancer doesn’t refer to just one cancer, but many. Although in general ovarian cancers share common symptoms, they can behave very differently. There are at least six distinct histopathological carcinomas. Low-grade serous ovarian cancer accounts for 3-8% of ovarian cancer diagnoses. We use World Ovarian Cancer day as an opportunity to draw attention to our global low-grade serous cancer research.
What are the priorities for the low-grade serous ovarian cancer community?
Approximately 100 000 women world-wide live with low-grade serous ovarian cancer. Almost half are under 40 years of age, and approximately 85% experience recurrence with current treatments. The median survival is 8 years.
While many women with low-grade serous ovarian cancer are passionate about symptom awareness, universally the one thing that will make a difference to their lives, is research.
Research specific to low-grade serous ovarian cancer is the only way to find life-prolonging and life-saving treatments for women currently living with low-grade serous ovarian cancer. In all likelihood some of the medications currently used in other types of cancers could benefit women with low-grade serous ovarian cancer. But we need your help to fund the research to find them.
In the lead up to World Ovarian Cancer Day we released a new website: cureourovariancancer.org/ovarian-cancer-day
We outlined the ways that women, their friends and family, and members of the public could use May 8th to make a difference.
This included sharing their story, creating a fundraiser and sharing the symptoms of ovarian cancer.
We also created posts on social media to share, highlighting both the desperate need for research and the symptoms of ovarian cancer.
Living with a diagnosis of low-grade serous ovarian cancer isn’t easy. Which is why we are so grateful to the women who speak up to help women with this disease, and other types of ovarian cancer.
Special mention goes to Brianna, who was diagnosed in 2017. She stood in Times Square in a bikini to raise awareness for Cure Our Ovarian Cancer and World Ovarian Cancer Day. She was inspired by the example of another incredible woman with low-grade serous ovarian cancer who last year did the same- the late Ashley Luther (Elly Mayday).
And Diane, who despite experiencing gruelling side effects from chemotherapy, created a fundraiser for the Edinburgh Cancer Research Centre – which at the time of writing has raised £519 for low-grade serous ovarian cancer research.
Kristen Larsen also bravely wore her underwear in public. This time as part of an Australian-wide general awareness campaign for Ovarian Cancer Australia. While Lisa Finucane and Melanie Schonofeld used the media to highlight some of the issues generally facing women with ovarian cancer.
Thank you to everyone who took part and helped raise awareness for Cure Our Ovarian Cancer and our broader ovarian cancer community.