Ovarian cancer survival rates plea

East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson attended the launch of the Pathfinder 2016 Report by the Target Ovarian Cancer Campaign at Westminster. INCT 48-726-CON
East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson attended the launch of the Pathfinder 2016 Report by the Target Ovarian Cancer Campaign at Westminster. INCT 48-726-CON

East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson has shown his support for a campaign to raise ovarian cancer survival rates.

Mr Wilson attended the launch of the Pathfinder 2016 Report by the Target Ovarian Cancer Campaign at Westminster.

Four thousand women across the United Kingdom die from the disease each year or 11 per day.

Although survival rates have improved in recent years, the UK still lags behind many other countries.

Target Ovarian Cancer says that survival rates could be increased with earlier diagnosis. Up to 90 per cent of women would survive five years or more if diagnosed at the earliest stage, yet two-thirds of women are diagnosed only after the cancer has spread.

The charity believes that a “two-prong” approach is needed - educating women to look for the symptoms and ensuring that GPs have the knowledge to refer women promptly.

According to the charity, there needs to be “greater support given to women throughout the treatment process since the specialist nurses are becoming increasingly stretched and little attention is given to the effect of the treatment on women’s mental health”.

A spokesperson said: “Victims have asked the National Health Service to honour its commitment to a new cancer strategy so that all those who are diagnosed with the disease have access to a clinical nurse specialist.

“There needs to be greater attention given to the treatments which work and those treatments which are not as successful and this requires a more extensive audit of the treatments that are used. It is ironic that over all levels of investment in the search for better treatments has actually fallen in recent years.

“Target Ovarian Cancer have promised separate detailed studies of the treatment support and care in Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales. It is important that we have knowledge of any variations there may be across the United Kingdom and an improvement in the survival rates in the UK which are amongst the worst in Europe.”