Barry Gardiner

Working Hard for Brent North



Barry Gardiner MP has shown his support for women with ovarian cancer across Brent by joining Target Ovarian Cancer at the launch of their state-of-the-nation Pathfinder study on 23 November in parliament.

Women with ovarian cancer are left stranded without vital support at every turn, from diagnostic tests to access to nurses, according to Pathfinder.

Pathfinder 2016 found that:

  • Just one in five UK women (20 per cent) could name bloating as a major symptom of ovarian cancer, an alarmingly low rate of awareness.
  • Almost half of women (41 per cent) visited their GP three times or more before being referred for ovarian cancer tests, risking a delayed diagnosis.
  • Less than half of cancer nurses (46 per cent) think that their cancer unit has enough nurses to care for all the women being treated there.

Ovarian cancer is the deadliest of all the gynaecological cancers, with 15 per cent of women dying within two months of being diagnosed, and only a third of women surviving 10 years after their diagnosis.

Now Target Ovarian Cancer and women with ovarian cancer across the UK are calling on government and health bodies to improve services and invest to secure the futures of women with ovarian cancer today and those diagnosed tomorrow.

Barry Gardiner said: “I’m really pleased to be here to ensure that all women with ovarian cancer get the care, support and new treatments that are needed, so that women’s lives are transformed, now and in future.”

Annwen Jones, Chief Executive of Target Ovarian Cancer, said: “Women with ovarian cancer are being failed at diagnosis, in access to trials and effective drugs, and they lack support. They deserve better than this. Over 100 MPs and healthcare professionals attended our event today, and we called on each one of them to commit to invest in ovarian cancer today, to save lives tomorrow.”

Ovarian cancer can be devastating. Every year 7,300 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the UK, and 4,100 women die from the disease.

Pathfinder 2016 is the most-comprehensive study of its kind into the lives of people living and working with ovarian cancer in the UK. It surveyed women in the general population, women with ovarian cancer, GPs, nurses, friends and family to provide a comprehensive assessment of how lives can be saved and improvements made. Pathfinder launches in parliament on 23 November. To find out more, visit


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Notes to editors:

For more information contact Catherine Murray 020 7923 5476 or

Interviews available with women with ovarian cancer, Target Ovarian Cancer Chief Executive Annwen Jones and healthcare professionals.

Pathfinder is Target Ovarian Cancer’s groundbreaking research that provides a detailed picture of the experiences of people living and working with ovarian cancer in the UK. The latest Pathfinder will provide a definitive snapshot of the UK’s ovarian cancer landscape in 2016. The research was overseen by an expert Advisory Panel, chaired by Professor Michael Peake, FRCP.

Pathfinder’s survey of UK women in the general population was carried out by Opinion Leader. To measure awareness in the general population we used the Ovarian Cancer Awareness Measure. This is a validated tool that was developed in 2008. It is based on the wider Cancer Awareness Measure developed by Cancer Research UK, University College London, Kings College London and Oxford University.

Interviews were carried out by telephone with 1343 women between 5 February and 1 March 2016. A Random Digit Dialling sampling approach was used with 25 per cent mobile numbers to reduce age bias (with younger women less likely to live in accommodation with a landline).

Pathfinder’s survey of GPs was carried out by medeConnect with the involvement of 504 GPs. National samples were broadly based on the current GP population across the UK, with a minimum of 30 for each group. The survey was carried out online between 26 February and 5 March 2016.

Pathfinder’s survey of nurses working with women with ovarian cancer asked about their experiences of caring for women and the support they are able to provide. The survey was open to all nurses working with women with ovarian cancer in the UK and ran online from 25 April to 14 August 2016. 41 nurses took part in the survey.

Pathfinder’s survey of women with ovarian cancer asked women about their experiences from symptoms, through to diagnosis and treatment. The survey was open to all women with ovarian cancer living in the UK who were diagnosed from 2010 onwards. 396 women took part in the research.

Target Ovarian Cancer is the UK’s leading ovarian cancer charity. We work to improve early diagnosis, fund life-saving research and provide much-needed support to women with ovarian cancer.

Twitter: @TargetOvarian / Facebook: TargetOvarianCancer / YouTube: TargetOvarianCancer

Symptoms of ovarian cancer

Symptoms of ovarian cancer are frequent (they usually happen more than 12 times a month) and persistent, and include:

  • Increased abdominal size/persistent bloating
  • Difficulty eating/feeling full
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain
  • Needing to wee more urgently or more often

Other symptoms can include unexpected weight loss, change in bowel habits, and extreme fatigue.

If you regularly experience any of these symptoms, which are not normal for you, it is important that you see your GP. It is unlikely that your symptoms are caused by a serious problem, but it is important to be checked out.

Target Ovarian Cancer is asking all editors not to use the term ‘silent killer’, as it merely reinforces perceptions that the symptoms of ovarian cancer can’t be spotted until later stages. We want to increase early diagnosis, in order to save lives, and therefore need to change these perceptions.

Target Ovarian Cancer is a company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales (No. 6619981). Registered office: 2 Angel Gate, London, EC1V 2PT. Registered charity numbers 1125038 (England and Wales) and SCO42920 (Scotland).

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