Reflections on 2023 and the year ahead from our Chair


As organisations and individuals we’ve faced considerable challenges over the past few years. Yet, as we approach the final days of 2023, I find myself deeply thankful for the resilience and commitment shown by my colleagues worldwide. Despite ongoing difficulties such as the escalating cost of living, global conflicts, and the impacts of climate change, our ovarian cancer community remains resolute in ensuring that everyone at risk of, or diagnosed with, ovarian cancer has the best chance of survival and best quality of life possible, no matter where they live.

Following two years of hard work, reflection, and consultation, we unveiled our new 5-year Coalition Strategy: “From Evidence to Action” in November. This Strategy revolves around four objectives that we believe hold the key to achieving our mission to drive profound and equitable change for all those impacted by this disease through partnerships, evidence, advocacy, and awareness. The objectives centre on prevention, awareness and health literacy, access to swift diagnosis and optimal treatments, and data and evidence.

Successful implementation of this Strategy will call for strong partnerships and collaborations. Our aim is to bolster grassroots movements, raise awareness, and advocate on local, national, and international platforms, with a laser-focus on ovarian cancer finally being acknowledged as a global health priority. For more details on this Strategy you can find it [here].

For me, our strategic partnership with the International Gynecologic Cancer Society (IGCS) and our joint work on the Every Woman Study™: Low- and Middle-Income Edition is a powerful case study on the value of bringing patient and clinician voices together. It was a privilege to be part of a session on the Study at the IGCS Annual Global Meeting in Seoul last month. Engaging with IGCS, and clinical leads involved in the Study from 11 of the 24 countries involved, was invigorating and exciting. It emphasised that while we’re still awaiting the final data, we are already glimpsing substantial potential for change through collaboration and partnerships.

I am also excited by the progress we have made this year on our Ovarian Cancer Cost-of-Illness Study. When the data is complete, for the first time we will be able to quantify the impact of this disease not only on healthcare systems but also on the broader economy, when women leave the workplace or reduce work commitments while navigating their diagnosis. Our two Studies together will provide robust qualitative and quantitative evidence to guide our actions in the coming years.

I cannot forget this year’s World Ovarian Cancer Day results which were breathtaking. Your enthusiasm and hard work for this campaign helped us reach over 200 million people with awareness messaging around the world – certainly a mention by Oscar-winning actress Angelina Jolie also gave the campaign a boost! More countries are getting increasingly involved and for 2024 we will continue to add to our database of translations so we can reach even more people – not just on May 8, but year-round.

As always, all of our work over the last year has been informed by our partner advocacy organisations around the world and our wider network of stakeholders, including clinicians and patient advocates. I am excited that we will be able to provide all our stakeholders with concrete evidence that will help them advocate for actions at country level.

Realising our objectives hinges on strengthening existing partnerships and fostering new ones. In times of uncertainty, the value of collaboration and partnerships cannot be overstated. From working with partner organisations like STAAR Ovarian Cancer Foundation and Cure Our Ovarian Cancer, to building on our Ambassador Programme that already has a bestselling author and two African First-Ladies, we know that we can be more impactful by working together towards our common goals. I so look forward to what 2024 will bring.

As I close, my thoughts turn to the members of our World Ovarian Cancer Coalition Board of Directors. Their commitment to the Coalition and achieving our vision has never wavered. I wish to extend my deepest gratitude to Robin Cohen, Jane Hill, Tammy Brown, Elisabeth Baugh, Eva Schumacher-Wulf, Runcie CW Chidebe, and Rafe Sadnan Adel. It is my great privilege to be a part of this Board. I look forward to the coming year as we continue our work to achieve profound and equitable change for everyone impacted by this disease.

The Coalition’s dedication to our partners is stronger than ever. Together, we are confident in our ability to make strides towards ensuring No Woman is Left Behind. Wishing you all the very best for the holiday season and a peaceful New Year.

Annwen Jones OBE, Chair of the Board of Directors.



The World Ovarian Cancer Coalition Launches Ambitious 5-Year Strategy


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.

2023-2028 World Ovarian Cancer Coalition StrategyThe 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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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