Ovarian Cancer Killing Australian Women

Ovarian Cancer Killing Australian WomenOvarian Cancer Killing Australian Women

Women in Australia are dying unnecessarily of ovarian cancer because of a lack of research into the disease, campaigners say.

The eighth most common cancer in Australian women kills about 1,000 every year. It most commonly affects women aged over 50, but can occur in women of all ages.

Ovarian Cancer Australia says the survival rate for women diagnosed with the cancer has failed to improve in recent years. Survival rates for other cancers, including breast, bowel and prostate, have gained ground after breakthroughs in detection, treatment and prevention, says an article in The Guardian.

In Australia, the overall five-year survival rate for those with ovarian cancer is 43%, compared with 89% for breast cancer.

“It is just not good enough that there has been no significant change in the treatment options for women with ovarian cancer for many years,” said Alison Amos, the chief executive of Ovarian Cancer Australia, which announced a $1m funding investment in research.

 Action Plan

Amos launched an ovarian cancer national action plan at an international gynaecological cancer meeting in Melbourne on Sunday.

She said the plan provided a blueprint for how Australia could best contribute to the global ovarian cancer research effort.

“Similar national plans were published for breast cancer and prostate cancer 10 years ago and these diseases have seen great strides forward in research,” she said.

It calls for a shift in funding from detection to the treatment, control and prevention of the disease, as well as more Australian-led clinical trials and greater transparency from not-for-profit organizations that fund ovarian cancer research.

The symptoms of ovarian cancer include: abdominal or pelvic pain and increased abdominal size or persistent bloating; the need to urinate often or urgently or feeling full after eating a small amount.

However, many women with very early stage ovarian cancer often do not have any symptoms.