March is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, an important month to raise awareness of ovarian cancer and educate women about one of the UK’s deadliest cancers. The money raised during Ovarian Cancer Month can help to fulfil these goals and ensure an early diagnosis in a bid to improve survival rates. There are many ways in which you can get involved in Ovarian Cancer Month, including ‘Taking OVAR’ and ‘Making Noise’ to raise money.
Ovarian cancer in the UK
According to the campaign’s website, ovarian cancer is the biggest gynaecological killer of UK women, with UK survival rates amongst the worst in Europe, although the average GP will only come across a case of ovarian cancer once every five years. There are more than 7,300 cases of ovarian cancer which are diagnosed in the UK each year and 4,100 deaths.
Ovarian cancer can be difficult to diagnose, and many women aren’t diagnosed until cancer has spread to other areas, making it more difficult to treat. Whilst current diagnosis rates are bleak, it is estimated that if diagnosed early enough, 90% of women could be expected to add another 5 years on to their life.
Ovarian cancer is most common in post-menopausal women, and GPs are now being told to carry out tests in women over 50 if they present certain frequent symptoms over 12 months, including:
- Bloating and feeling full and an increase in abdominal size
- Abdominal or pelvic pain
- An increasing need to urinate urgently
With only 3% of women confidently being able to identify the symptoms of ovarian cancer, Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month is more important than ever for raising awareness.
If you are interested in getting involved in Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, Target Ovarian Cancer has plenty of ideas for how you can ‘make some noise’ and get people talking, thinking and donating for ovarian cancer. Some ideas include:
- Organise a coffee morning: by ‘baking some noise’, you can encourage your friends, family and co-workers to get involved by baking some sweet treats to raise money. Coffee mornings and bake sales are a great way to raise money and offer the chance for people to get together too.
- The Big Colour Clash: On 9th March, join hundreds of people across the UK and shout out with your boldest and brightest clothes. Ask your colleagues to donate for taking part and drum up support with a prize for the most outlandish office outfit!
- London Landmarks Half Marathon: Brand new for 2018, the London Landmarks Half Marathon is the first half marathon to go through the heart of the historic City of London. The stunning, closed road route will showcase a magnificent array of the capital’s grandest landmarks, and its quirky and hidden history! It promises a spectacular experience from start to finish, so sign up to join Team Target today!
- Shout louder: Use your social media profile as a way to raise awareness. Use the hashtags #TAKEOVAR, #StartMakingNoise and #OvarianCancerAwarenessMonth and detail your fundraising activities across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can also update your profile or cover images to display the symptoms of ovarian cancer to shout the message loud and clear, whilst you can SHOUT LOUDER on 31 March, by typing in capital letters at appropriate stages throughout the day.
There are many other great fundraising ideas on the Target Ovarian Cancer website and you can also use your own creativity to think of ways to raise money and awareness.
For more information on ovarian cancer, head to NHS Choices, and if you think you might be displaying signs of ovarian cancer, no matter what your age, don’t hesitate to book an appointment with your GP.