Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

February is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.

Why is ovarian cancer important?

  1. Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of gynaecological cancer death in New Zealand wahine. Ovarian cancer does not have a screening test so it is vitally important for all New Zealanders to educate themselves on the symptoms of ovarian cancer.
  2. Ovarian cancer is one of our least resourced cancers. Women often face extraordinary diagnosis delays (of months to years). There is a lack of national systems, and little resourcing. It kills more women than our road toll. The government spends $100 million a year to reduce our road toll, and most years nothing to reduce the toll of ovarian cancer through research and education. It’s been overlooked for too long. We are advocating strongly for change.
  3. Just one in three women with ovarian cancer survive their diagnosis. That’s far too few. We are proud to have funded three NZ research projects since 2018, and will continue to support research until we find a cure.

Happening in February

An Ad You Can’t Miss

Look out across New Zealand for our billboards encouraging the public to get thinking and talking about ovarian cancer. We’d love to see your photos! Share them on social media and tag us @ovariancancernz

The billboard features brave New Zealand wahine affected by ovarian cancer. They are participating because they want ovarian cancer to receive more support and resources – and be talked about a lot more!

This is the second time we have run this campaign (and 3rd time we’ve used billboards) across New Zealand and we feel it’s particularly appropriate in light of our advocacy efforts to see changes to the way ovarian cancer is diagnosed, treated and researched in New Zealand. Last year we were also donated space on the largest London and New York billboards with over 350 others around the world to help encourage the public and policy makers to stop overlooking ovarian cancer.

“In early 2019 I visited a friend in Australia, and first on the list was a trip to see her billboard promoting ovarian cancer. I remember being in awe of how far ahead Australia was in talking about and giving ovarian cancer visibility. I am so proud that ovarian cancer is now a regular feature on New Zealand streets and thankful to all women who’ve participated and our generous corporate sponsors (Go Media and Topham Guerin) who’ve donated services and space to help make it happen. As our fifth leading cause of female cancer death – it’s something everyone needs to know about.” – Jane Ludemann

Jane Ludemann, Founder, Cure Our Ovarian Cancer

Educating doctors

Research from the UK suggests that 44% of GPs are unaware that ovarian cancer can have symptoms in the early stages of the disease. We’ve co-authored a review with a local gynaecological oncologist – in popular GP magazine NZ Doctor covering all of the important facts about ovarian cancer. It’s being published mid-February, just in time for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. We’re making sure that GPs know about our health professional resource hub which includes New Zealand recognised professional development.

Online Campaign

Any Woman Any Age. We’re running an online campaign to highlight that ovarian cancer can affect any woman at any age. Both women and their family members and friends are taking photos of themselves holding a note saying “I was diagnosed at____” or “My daughter/mum/friend/sister/partner was diagnosed at ___” – to draw attention to the fact that absolutely everyone could be affected by ovarian cancer. You are never too young. And definitely never too old. That’s why it’s vitally important everyone knows the symptoms. If you’d like to participate – contact us by the start of February.

Ovarian Cancer Appreciation Award

Women have nominated doctors around the country for our inaugural Ovarian Cancer Appreciation Award. Thanks to the support of Libertine Teas, Tea Total and Coffee Supreme – a select group of doctors who have gone above and beyond to ensure their patient received a speedy diagnosis will be receiving a special gift – and be encouraged to sit down for a cuppa with their colleagues and share their experience of diagnosing ovarian cancer. We hope to see nominations growing exponentially in the future as we hear of improvements in how women are diagnosed.


Cure Our Ovarian Cancer has spent 2021 consulting with women, GPs, cancer specialists and nurses, international experts and the broader community to produce a report on ovarian cancer in New Zealand. It contains urgent recommendations for improvements in diagnosis, treatment and research. This is such an important area that has been overlooked for far too long. We are committed to pushing for change. Our Diagnosis and Treatment sections are currently our for consultation in the medical community. We hope to present the report to the government in the first half of this year.


Isolation is a really common theme of a diagnosis with ovarian cancer. Work is underway for Cure Our Ovarian Cancer to start New Zealand’s first support group meeting for ovarian cancer, to give women an option to connect and gain companionship and support to lighten the load on their difficult journey.

We need your help

We are the only New Zealand charity dedicated to ovarian cancer. The work we do to support affected women is both essential and not funded by the government.

Unfortunately the body part affected by cancer not only determines your survival, but also the support you receive following diagnosis. Per person affected, ovarian cancer receives a fraction of the amount other cancer charities do. Covid-19 puts yet more pressure on the system, and women and their families.

Your support is crucial to ensuring women with ovarian cancer are supported through out their journey.

Your donations and fundraising efforts help women affected by ovarian cancer live better, longer lives.

If you’d like to create a fundraiser for Cure Our Ovarian Cancer, you can do so through our Give A Little Page.

Huge thank you to Fi who is walking 50 000 steps on the 17th of February in memory of her mum. Fi you are the absolute best!!

For fund-raising ideas check out our fundraising suggestions – and if you are a baker be sure to take a look at our baking guide. Really anything goes. It’s such a great cause to get behind.