Seoul, South Korea, November 7, 2023 – The World Ovarian Cancer Coalition has unveiled its ground-breaking 5-year strategy to coincide with its participation at the International Gynecologic Cancer Society Annual Meeting in Seoul, South Korea. This comprehensive strategy is poised to foster the creation of a world where everyone with, or at risk of, ovarian cancer has the best chance of survival and the best quality of life possible, no matter where they live. As the only global advocacy organization dedicated solely to addressing this devastating disease, the World Ovarian Cancer Coalition will harness this unique position to drive profound and equitable change worldwide.
The Strategy sets plans for a multifaceted approach directed at filling evidence gaps, mobilising stakeholders, raising awareness, and securing sustainable support for its ambition to see ovarian cancer recognised as a global public health priority.
The World Ovarian Cancer Coalition’s 5-year strategy is built upon four core goals:
- Prevention: Recognizing that about 20% of women with ovarian cancer have a genetic mutation that may be inherited, the Coalition aims to ensure that everyone, everywhere, knows their family history and has access to genetic testing and counseling. This proactive approach empowers women to take measures to reduce their risk through surveillance or risk-reduction measures, including surgery.
- Awareness & Health Literacy: While increasing awareness of ovarian cancer symptoms is vital for early diagnosis, health literacy remains a significant challenge, particularly among women with limited access to information. The Coalition’s goal is to enhance global awareness of ovarian cancer, offering information on risk reduction, prevention, the importance of rapid diagnosis, and the need for optimal care.
- Access to Rapid Diagnosis & Best Treatments: Access to experienced surgeons in high-volume centers and participation in clinical trials are pivotal for improving ovarian cancer survival rates. The Coalition will strive for equitable access to rapid diagnosis and the best possible treatment, irrespective of geographical and socioeconomic factors.
- Data & Evidence: Data is crucial for understanding ovarian cancer’s impact and guiding effective policies. Many countries lack comprehensive data on the disease, inhibiting the development of evidence-based plans. The World Ovarian Cancer Coalition’s objective is to fill these information voids through global, national, and local efforts, including the improvement of cancer registries.
Annwen Jones OBE, Chair of the Coalition’s Board of Directors, stated, “Implementation of this Strategy over the next 5-years will have a transformative impact on the lives of those affected by ovarian cancer globally and nationally. Its success will lie on building on existing partnerships and mobilising collaborators around the world – in every resource setting. We are confident that this Strategy marks a new beginning in the fight against this disease.”
The Coalition’s strategic pathways include:
- Thought Leadership: The Coalition will convene a Global Advisory Council and Global Summit involving leading ovarian cancer clinicians and advocates to develop a shared global vision and action plan, based on new evidence generated by the Coalition and other experts worldwide.
- Global Advocacy: The Coalition will conduct research to identify opportunities for progress in prevention, rapid diagnosis, and access to quality care. Partnerships with global health and government agencies will mobilize support for integrating ovarian cancer objectives into existing health initiatives.
- Awareness: Compelling messaging will educate and empower those living with, or at risk of, ovarian cancer, emphasizing the significance of family history, genetic testing, and the importance of a more rapid diagnosis. The Coalition will engage advocacy partners, celebrities, and ambassadors to amplify key messages, secure multi-year corporate support for World Ovarian Cancer Day, and expand its network of ambassadors worldwide.
- Growing the Grassroots: Advocacy partners will be empowered with high-quality resources and tools to fill knowledge gaps and facilitate collaboration. The World Ovarian Cancer Coalition will actively involve them in developing and implementing initiatives and promoting the sharing of best practices.
CEO of the Coalition, Clara MacKay, added, “We are determined that ovarian cancer is recognised as a global priority so the trajectory of this disease is changed. If we do not take action and just maintain the status quo over four million lives will be lost to ovarian cancer by 2040. We are fortunate to work with a strong global network of advocates that share our ambition.”
The launch of the World Ovarian Cancer Coalition’s 5-year Strategy coinciding with the International Gynecologic Cancer Society Annual Meeting in Seoul marks a pivotal moment in the fight against ovarian cancer. By driving forward these ambitious goals and strategic approaches, the Coalition is committed to creating a world where every individual affected by ovarian cancer can look forward to the best possible outcomes, regardless of their location or background. Together, the international community can make ovarian cancer a global priority, reducing its impact and improving the lives of countless women around the world.
About the World Ovarian Cancer Coalition
Formally established in 2016, the World Ovarian Cancer Coalition is the only global not-for-profit focused on ovarian cancer. Working with close to 200 patient advocacy organisations around the world, the Coalition is determined that every woman with ovarian cancer should have the best chance of survival and best quality of life – wherever she may live.
The Coalition builds on the significant impact of the annual flagship ovarian cancer awareness campaign – World Ovarian Cancer Day, started in 2013 and the ground-breaking Every Woman Study™ published in 2018. The Coalition launched a Global Ovarian Cancer Charter at the International Gynecologic Cancer Society (IGCS) annual meeting in 2020. The Charter, a living document, pivots around six Global Goals and is a clear call-to-action for all those committed to improving survival and quality of life for women with ovarian cancer. In 2022 and in partnership with IGCS, the Coalition is undertaking the Every Woman Study™: Low- and Middle-Income Edition in 24 countries.This next generation of the Study will for the first-time detail the experiences of women living with an ovarian cancer diagnosis in settings that, for a number of reasons, have been until now overlooked. In tandem with this, the Coalition has also commissioned an 11-country Ovarian Cancer Cost-of-Illness Study, exploring the cost of this disease on health care systems and the economy. Seven of the countries being explored map over the Every Woman Study: Low- and Middle-Income Edition, which will provide a robust set of quantitative and qualitative data. Results from both studies are due in 2024.
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