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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Powerful Together: World Ovarian Cancer Coalition launches Global Ovarian Cancer Charter at International Gynecologic Cancer Society Annual Global Meeting
September 12, 2020 – Toronto, Canada – Fewer than five years since its inception, the World Ovarian Cancer Coalition today launched the Global Ovarian Cancer Charter at the Presidential Plenary of the International Gynecologic Cancer Society xDigital Annual Global Meeting.
Built on the landmark Every Woman Study™ conducted by the Coalition in 2018, the Global Charter is a living document that seeks to make impactful changes through its six Global Goals:
- Global Priority
- Ovarian cancer must become a global priority, so that the increasing burden and challenges of successfully treating women with ovarian cancer are recognized and planned for at national, regional, and local levels.
- Rapid Diagnosis
- Women must have access to diagnosis without delay.
- Best Possible Care
- Women must have access to surgery, treatments and clinical trials that optimize their chances of survival and quality of life, no matter where they live.
- Family History
- Women and doctors must have access to appropriate and timely genetic testing and counselling.
- Data Improvement
- Data used to develop cancer control plans and treatments must reflect the diversity of local populations to ensure the best possible outcomes.
- Information and Support
- Women must have access to good-quality information and support in their own language that helps them to live well with the disease.
Incidence of ovarian cancer is set to increase by almost 50% by the year 2050 and remains the most lethal of female cancers. While significant advances in treatment have been made in very recent years, women’s access to them is far from universal, especially in low- to middle-income settings, where the majority of women with ovarian cancer live.
Using the Charter as a framework for change, the Coalition is working with Charter Champions around the world to bring forward examples of inspirational good practice to foster collaboration and sharing. Champions are mainly, but not limited to, patient and clinical organizations who have existing or upcoming programmes that speak directly to one or more of the goals, The aim is to reduce variations between regions and countries and ensure that women with ovarian cancer have the best chance of survival and best quality of life, wherever they may live.
“We are thrilled to have such a high-profile platform to launch the Global Ovarian Cancer Charter, ” said Elisabeth Baugh, chair of the Coalition and CEO of Ovarian Cancer Canada, “thanks to our Strategic Advocacy Partner and Charter Champion IGCS for this amazing opportunity. We are truly more #PowerfulTogether as we work to bring together patient and clinical advocacy. While the challenges are enormous, the opportunity to showcase inspiring programmes from around the world will help drive ovarian cancer awareness and action so that as many women as possible benefit.”
“The International Gynecologic Cancer Society is pleased to have the World Ovarian Cancer Coalition launch its Global Ovarian Cancer Charter during our Presidential Plenary,” remarks Mary Eiken, CEO of IGCS, “which will bring international attention to this important call-to-action. We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with organizations such as the Coalition, to unite regional and international organizations to achieve common goals that include promoting research and ensuring that every woman affected by ovarian cancer has access to the best possible care to optimize her survival and quality of life, wherever and under whatever circumstance she might live.”
The Charter launch marks the start of an active year for the Coalition, with a series of virtual summits planned that will speak to the individual goals and will involve high level organizations, policy influencers, advocates, and reflections on patient experience. It will also be working with a number of the Champions in low resource settings to pilot a variation of the Every Woman Study™ to provide invaluable evidence to drive action at national and regional levels.
The first Charter event is slated to take place 22 October and will coincide with the release of the 2020 World Ovarian Cancer Atlas. Moderated by BBC World Health Check presenter Claudia Hammond, this session will focus on the need to make ovarian cancer a global priority and will directly address the significant disparities highlighted in the Atlas.
About ovarian cancer
Ovarian cancer is the most lethal of the female cancers. Most women are diagnosed once the cancer has already spread, making it more difficult to treat. There are often delays in diagnosing the disease, as there is no early detection test, and symptoms are often confused with other, less severe, illnesses. Ovarian cancer is overlooked and underfunded – yet every woman is at risk of developing the disease. Ovarian cancer is cancer arising from the cells in and around the ovaries and fallopian tubes. It forms when there are abnormalities in normal ovarian cell growth. New cells grow unnecessarily, and old and damaged cells fail to die away, causing a build-up that forms a tumour or growth. Those growths have genetic mutations that cause them to multiply.
About the World Ovarian Cancer Coalition
The World Ovarian Cancer Coalition is a not-for-profit organization that seeks to create a world where every woman with ovarian cancer has the best chance of survival, and the best quality of life – wherever she may live. With a stellar international Board of Directors, the Coalition builds on the success of World Ovarian Cancer Day (May 8) every year and the Every Woman Study as it looks ahead to further research, awareness raising, and policy work.
About International Gynecologic Cancer Society
The International Gynecologic Cancer Society (IGCS) is a professional medical society with over 3,100 members from low-, middle-, and high-income countries. It is dedicated to the prevention, treatment, and study of gynecologic cancers, and its mission is to enhance the care of women with gynecologic cancer worldwide through education and training and public awareness. In its global fight against gynecologic cancers, IGCS achieves this mission through strategic collaborations with regional and international organizations, scientific meetings, research and publications, mentorship and training programs, outreach, and patient and advocacy community engagement.
For more information contact:
Chief Executive Officer
World Ovarian Cancer Coalition
Mary Eiken, MS
Chief Executive Officer
International Gynecologic Cancer Society