Brinkmann Gynaecology

World Ovarian Cancer Day - 8th May 2014

Ovarian cancer affects nearly a quarter of a million women around the world each year.  In the UK, 7,000 women are diagnosed annually and 4,300 lose their lives to this disease each year.

UK has worst ovarian cancer survival rate for women in Europe
British women have the worst chance of surviving ovarian cancer in Europe[i].  Just 31% of British women survived for five years, which was worse than nations like Bulgaria and Lithuania.  A mixture of embarrassment, lack of awareness and misdiagnosis mean people don’t get the help they need until it’s too late.   

Lack of awareness   

Symptom awareness is worryingly low and misdiagnosis is common.  A typical family doctor will only see 8 or 9 patients a year with cancer and many are missed.  A recent NHS survey found a quarter of people diagnosed with cancer had seen their GP at least three times before being sent to a specialist.  Nearly one in four are diagnosed in A&E, when the disease is advanced and the outcome poor.   

Early diagnosis saves lives   

But it’s not all bad.  Cancer survival rates continue to improve as women become more aware of the signs and symptoms of cancer.  If caught early 90% of women with ovarian cancer will survive.  Early diagnosis, sub-specialisation and chemotherapy are bringing significant improvements.   

Reduce your risk   

More than 60% of women with gynaecological cancers are treated by the wrong doctor.  Gynaecological oncologists are more specialised than general gynaecologists to treat women with cancer using the newest, most effective treatments resulting in higher cure rates.   You could have an increased risk of developing ovarian cancer if there is a history of cancer in your family.  Talk to your doctor to find out what can be done.   

Spread the word
On 8 May join the global movement to raise awareness about ovarian cancer research by pledging to spread the word.  Sign the pledge at


[i] The Eurocare-5 study: The Lancet Oncology