Helene Harris stresses vigilance

Cancer charity Helene Harris Memorial Trust is attempting to turn around the reputation of ovarian cancer as a ‘silent killer’.

The charity has re-launched its fundraising and marketing arm as Ovarian Cancer Action and wants to raise awareness about new findings on the early symptoms of the disease.

It intends to encourage women to be more vigilant about spotting possible manifestations of the cancer, which was previously thought to be difficult to identify in its early stages.

‘New research shows that there are persistent signs of the cancer early on, which include indigestion, change in bowel habits, back or abdominal pain and irregular bleeding,’ said Ovarian Cancer Action head of communications Frances Reid.

She added that 90 per cent of women survive when it is caught early, but more than two thirds of UK women are not diagnosed until the cancer has spread.

The campaign, ‘Breaking the Silence’, will launch in March and target women over the age of 40 and their relatives.

Glossy women’s magazines, medical press and national broadcast media will be sent research findings, while regional newspapers will receive case studies of local women with the disease.

Agony aunt columnists will also be targeted and politicians will be lobbied to back an Early Day Motion.

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