Ovarian cancer kills 140,000 women every year around the world. In the UK alone, another woman dies from the disease every 2 hours.
But, unlike cervical, bowel and breast cancers, there is currently no way to screen for the early or pre-cancerous signs of ovarian cancer. This means it often isn’t detected until it’s too late to treat effectively.
Women deserve better.
We need to be able to test women for ovarian cancer in the simplest way. Donate today to help our award-winning scientists discover an ovarian cancer screening test. Your support is vital to the development of a life-saving screening test for ovarian cancer. Join us and show the world that women deserve better. It’s time.
Did you know that the cervical smear test does not detect ovarian cancer?
Since the introduction of a screening programme for cervical cancer, mortality rates have reduced by up to 71%, preventing at least 2,000 cervical cancer deaths every year in the UK.
We want to replicate the success of the cervical smear test so that women at risk of ovarian cancer can be saved too.
We need your help to fund the development of the world’s first ovarian cancer screening tool, which will have the potential to save thousands of lives globally.
Creating the world’s first ovarian cancer screening tool
When ovarian cancer is detected at its earliest stages, women have a 90% chance of surviving beyond five years. However, if it is detected at a later stage, then tragically a woman’s chance of survival reduces dramatically to as little as 4%. Despite this, there is still no screening tool.
Only research can change this.
Thanks to our dedicated supporters, in 2014 we began funding Professor Ahmed and his team at the University of Oxford, in partnership with the Betty Messenger Charitable Foundation. He is an award winning, internationally recognised expert in the field of ovarian cancer research.
In these past four years, Professor Ahmed and his team have made exceptional discoveries that could fundamentally change our approach to fighting ovarian cancer.
Developing a screening tool:
Professor Ahmed and his team have discovered that levels of a protein called SOX2 are much higher in the fallopian tubes of women with ovarian cancer and in those genetically predisposed to the disease, compared to those who don’t.
This finding is very exciting; it means that SOX2 could be used to develop a test to detect if ovarian cancer cells, or pre-cancerous cells, are present in a woman. We want the test to also detect these cells before they even develop into ovarian cancer, in the same way that the cervical smear test detects pre-cancerous cells in the cervix.
An international independent committee of ovarian cancer scientists, oncologists and surgeons who make up the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) says of Ahmed’s work:
“The work of the Ahmed lab has been shown to be innovative, at the cutting edge of technology and focussed upon problems of real significance for ovarian cancer sufferers. It is exciting and of a very high quality.”
With your help, Professor Ahmed plans to develop his discovery into the world’s first screening tool for ovarian cancer.
Your support will mean that Professor Ahmed and his team will be able to work on understanding the exact location of these cells in the fallopian tubes, how they behave and how to test women for ovarian cancer in the simplest way.
Ultimately, this research will be the first steps in developing an ovarian cancer screening tool that can help us replicate the success of the cervical smear test.
By contributing today, you can be a key part of one of the most exciting developments in ovarian cancer research.
Meet Suzie, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at just 25 years old. She believes an ovarian cancer screening tool is the key to saving women’s lives.
“Towards the end of 2016, I started experiencing persistent bloating and constant exhaustion. By Christmas, where I’d usually be the life and soul of the party, I was so tired that I had to sleep through most of the celebrations.
Luckily, the nurse practitioner I saw acted quickly, ordering blood tests. The results indicated that something was wrong, and the subsequent ultrasound revealed a large, suspicious mass growing on my ovary. I required urgent surgery and lost my left ovary in the process. I was told the devastating news that the tumour was cancerous, and the size of a rugby ball. Further tests showed that the cancer had spread to my lymph nodes.
I was diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer, aged 25.
Being diagnosed with ovarian cancer was devastating and it felt so unfair, not only on me but also on all my friends and family, who had put their lives on hold to support me through it.
I underwent six gruelling rounds of chemotherapy. Whilst it initially disappeared, after three months I was told the cancer had come back, this time around my bowel.
I’m currently on a clinical trial, which is helping me manage the cancer and I am determined to make sure every day is a good one. Not everyone is as lucky.
An early detection screening tool is so important to ensure that women don’t have to go through what I’ve had to.”
How is the money being spent?
Thanks to our incredible supporters and partners, we have already raised most of the funds needed to kick-start Professor Ahmed’s research. We now need your help to raise a further £255,000 so that Professor Ahmed can complete this project; this crowdfunder is vital to us reaching our goal.
Your donation could provide:
- £20: Can provide a researcher with two months of protective-wear, preventing cross-contamination.
- £50: Can buy 100 specialist flasks which are necessary to grow cancer cells to be analysed.
- £100: Can buy 10 weeks’ worth of nutrients needed to cultivate cancer cells for further study.
- £250: Can allow our scientists to extract DNA from 100 samples of blood & cells.
- £300: Can buy a 12 month software subscription, used to create images and figures for publication.
- £1,000: Can buy a powerful computer to help plan & analyse knowledge gained from the experiments.
Who are we?
Ovarian Cancer Action is the UK’s leading ovarian cancer research charity, investing in innovative projects that tackle the major problems faced by women with ovarian cancer.
Your support is vital to the development of a screening tool. We need you to help show the world that women deserve better. Please help fund research that can make a screening tool a reality.
Together, we can stop women dying of ovarian cancer.