World Ovarian Cancer Day falls on 8 May 2022 and the message from the World Ovarian Cancer Coalition is “no woman left behind”. It aims to increase awareness and “globally raise our voices in solidarity in the fight against ovarian cancer”.

This awareness event was established by ovarian cancer advocacy organisations globally in 2013. World Ovarian Cancer Day is supported by nearly 200 organisations around the world and reached over 100 million people on the day itself in 2021.

ovarian cancer day

Here we discuss what ovarian cancer is and look at some UK statistics. We also examine Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) linked with ovarian cancer and hear what the experts have to say.

What is Ovarian Cancer?

Ovarian cancer is an umbrella term for about 30 different types of cancer that affect the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the primary peritoneal cavity. It is the most lethal of cancers in women, and females are usually diagnosed once the cancer has already spread, making it more difficult to treat.

What are the UK ovarian cancer statistics?

In the UK, about 7,500 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year. It is the biggest gynaecological killer of females in the UK. If a woman´s ovarian cancer is diagnosed at stage 1 she has a 90% chance of surviving for 5 years or more. Only 33% are diagnosed at this stage as symptoms are not apparent until advanced stages and then the survival rate can be as low as 4%.

For 70% to 90% of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer their disease will return, which means protecting your health and especially your sexual health is key.

Which STIs are linked to Ovarian Cancer?

According to the British Journal of Cancer published on 21 March 2019, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) including bacterial infections such as Chlamydia Trachomatis and Mycoplasma Genitalium and viral infections like Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and Herpes Simplex Virus type 2 (HSV-2) can induce persistent changes in the female genital tract.

Chlamydia and Mycoplasma are associated with pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), salpingitis, and tubal infertility. PID was associated with increased ovarian cancer risk in a recent meta-analysis providing indirect evidence for a role for STIs in the aetiology of the disease.

What do the experts say?

New English National Health Service (NHS) data published in March of this year by Ovarian.org.uk showed that one in seven females diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year (13.6%) die in the two months after diagnosis. Professor Sudha Sundar, President of the British Gynaecological Cancer Society commented, “this data shows we need to do more. It´s clear we have a long way to go and significant issues to tackle”.

Get tested with Better2Know

Some STIs have been linked with hard to detect ovarian cancer. It is imperative that women and men receive early and regular testing for STIs to obtain diagnosis and effective treatment. This will help to protect your long-term health prospects and reduce the likelihood of acquiring a life-threatening illness.

Our UK clinics offer testing for a wide range of individual sexually transmitted infections including Chlamydia , Mycoplasma, HPV and Herpes.

You can also choose a comprehensive health screen such as our Platinum Screen which tests for Chlamydia, Mycoplasma, Herpes type 1 and 2 as well as Syphilis, Gonorrhoea, HIV I/II and the p24 antigen, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Ureaplasma,  Trichomonas and Gardnerella.

Book your STI test or screen

To book your test or screen online, click the ‘Book Now’ button at the top of the page and follow the instructions. Alternatively, you can telephone our highly trained and friendly Patient Services team 24 hours, 7 days a week on the telephone number displayed above.

Sources

[1] Worldovariancancercoalition.org: May 8 – World Ovarian Cancer Day

[2] Worldovariancancercoalitiion.org: World Ovarian Cancer Coalition Atlas 2020

[3] Ovarian.org.uk: Ovarian cancer: the statistics

[4] British Journal of Cancer: Sexually transmitted infections and risk of epithelial ovarian cancer: results from the Nurses’ Health Studies

[5] Ovarian.org.uk: New NHS data reveals England´s ovarian cancer injustices

Image: What is world ovarian cancer day?




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