A group of walkers with dogs wearing blue Ovarian Cancer Action t-shirts

Leading charity launches campaign to mark Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

A leading UK ovarian cancer research charity has launched a campaign for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.

Participants of the ‘Walk in Her Name’ campaign, captained by Lioness and Arsenal star Beth Mead, will be walking a total of 100km throughout March to raise awareness and funds for Ovarian Cancer Action.

Around 7,500 new cases of ovarian cancer are diagnosed in the UK each year, with 82% of cases diagnosed in women over the age of 50.

Claire Lubbock, Community and Events Manager at Ovarian Cancer Action, said: “Currently 3 in 10 women with ovarian cancer will not survive 10 years post diagnosis and shockingly, 90% of women don’t know the four symptoms.

“We urgently need to change this as early detection is our best tool for improving survival rates.”

Women diagnosed at stage 1 have a 90% survival rate compared to 19% at stage 3, yet currently only 33% of cases are diagnosed at stage 1.

In January Mead shared the news of the passing of her mother, June, who had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer two years ago.

The Lionesses wore black armbands with teal ovarian cancer pins at their Arnold Clark Cup Final, also paying tribute to the victims of the earthquake in southern Turkey and northern Syria.

Following their 6-1 win against Belgium on Sunday, Captain Leah Williamson dedicated the title to June Mead.

Lifting the trophy, she said: “We love you, Beth. This one’s for June Mead.”

Although unable to participate herself due to injury rehabilitation, Mead is urging fans to walk on her behalf and in memory of her mother.

The campaign will generate funds for the Ovarian Cancer Action Research Centre (OCARC) at Imperial College, led by Professor Iain McNeish.

Lubbock said: “The more people take part, the more money we can raise to go towards building knowledge, making breakthroughs, and ensuring fairness for women.

“Every action you take in Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month can help us reach a world where ovarian cancer is a survivable disease for all women.”

Diagram showing four symptoms of ovarian cancer: struggling to eat, weeing more, bloating, stomach pain
KEY SYMPTOMS: Early detection and diagnosis of ovarian cancer makes a critical difference to survival rates.

The four main symptoms of ovarian cancer are: persistent stomach pain, persistent bloating, finding it difficult to eat or feeling full quickly, and needing to wee more often.

Other symptoms may include: extreme tiredness for no obvious reason, a change in bowel habits, going more often or more frequently, and unexplained weight loss.

One of those taking part in March’s ‘Walk in Her Name’ challenge is Phoebe Usher.

Usher was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at age 22 and underwent a hysterectomy and chemotherapy treatment.

In January, Usher was given the ‘all clear’, and her scans are currently tumour free.  

WALK IN HER NAME: Supporters of Ovarian Cancer Action are walking 100km to raise awareness and funds for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.

She told Ovarian Cancer Action: “I’m so grateful for all of the previous research, funded by charities like Ovarian Cancer Action, which provided the treatments I needed for a positive ending.

“That’s why I can’t wait to take part in Walk in Her Name. It’s my way of giving back and supporting other women.”

In January the Ovarian Cancer Action Research Centre published its findings on a study, led by Dr James Flanagan, which linked loyalty card data on over-the-counter medication with an ovarian cancer diagnosis.

The study found a noticeable increase in the purchase of pain and indigestion medication among women with ovarian cancer up to eight months before diagnosis, compared with women without ovarian cancer.

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