Around 7500 people are diagnosed with ovarian cancer every year in the UK: the risk is about 2% over a lifetime. Around 4100 UK deaths are attributed to ovarian cancer each year. However, when diagnosed at the earliest stage, more than 9 in 10 people with ovarian cancer will survive five or more years. This underscores the importance of early diagnosis and treatment: the earlier cancer is caught, the better the health outcome.
Yet due to testing limitations, regular screening for ovarian cancer is not yet available in the UK. Education is essential to ensure people can recognise the early symptoms and know when to speak to a GP.
EPIC Assist is partnering with Ovacome and the Showmen’s Mental Health Awareness Charity to deliver a series of awareness workshops to the Showmen community. Our first workshop taught participants common signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer, who is most at risk, and the tests and treatments available.
This included introducing participants to Ovacome’s BEAT acronym for common symptoms:
B – bloating that doesn’t come and go
E – eating difficulty and feeling full more quickly
A – abdominal and pelvic pain felt most days
T – toilet changes in urination or bowel habits
EPIC recognises a need for inclusive language in service provision. While the majority of people at risk of ovarian cancer are women, some transgender men, non-binary people, and intersex people are also at risk and may be less likely to pursue care due to stigma.
We aim to provide a safe, inclusive learning environment that encourages participants to pay attention to changes in their body and empower them to advocate for the healthcare they need.
Ovacome provides nationwide support and information services to anyone affected by ovarian cancer in the UK, reaching around 18,000 people each year. Their support extends not just to those diagnosed with ovarian cancer, but their loved ones, people who may be at elevated risk, and healthcare professionals.
The Showmen’s Mental Health Awareness Charity challenges mental health stigma in the Showmen and Fairground community through education and awareness projects and provides support to community members experiencing mental health issues. This has included supporting members of the community through the mental health effects of a cancer diagnosis.
Article by Dorian Rose