Ovarian cancer is known as the ‘silent killer’.
Because for too long, a lack of research funding and awareness has meant the disease has flown under the radar.
It is often underdiagnosed and only caught in its later stages — where the survival rates for women and girls are as low as 20-25%. This is in large part due to the fact that there is currently no way to test for the disease in its early stages.
These are unacceptable statistics—but it’s these statistics and the story of every woman faced with ovarian cancer that fuel our drive to change the ovarian cancer story. And one day, we know we’ll have a future where women’s lives aren’t threatened by ovarian cancer.
Our mission at the OCRF is to fund innovative ovarian cancer research that will save lives. Research that will enable doctors to detect the disease early. Research that will provide personalised treatment options which have a greater likelihood of stopping ovarian cancer in its tracks.
I found the OCRF when I was first googling ovarian cancer. I wanted to give something back in addition to raising awareness. So many women are rendered silent by this unrelenting disease.
OCRF ambassador, Ovarian Cancer Patient
Our priority is to bring light to ovarian cancer by funding life-changing research. Here are three ways we’re doing exactly that:
1. Leading the push into historically underfunded research
One of the biggest limitations to improved ovarian cancer outcomes is that historically, research into the disease has been undervalued and underfunded. But we know research is the key to an early detection test and improved treatment outcomes. We’ve seen this in the gains made in breast and cervical cancers.
Although we have seen a steady increase in government funding for ovarian cancer research in recent times, we know that government funding alone will not be enough to see a stepped change in outcomes. We give researchers around Australia and New Zealand the opportunity to gain access to sustained funding to embark on life-saving projects, through our grants program
And recently, we’ve made progress in some important areas:
2. Harnessing the power of collaboration with researchers, foundations and patients
Our vision for a future free from ovarian cancer is a bold one, that’s why we’re not doing it alone.
We’ve unlocked millions of dollars in additional funding for ovarian cancer research through partnerships with like-minded philanthropic bodies, like the Australian Cancer Research Foundation, National Breast Cancer Foundation and Cancer Council Victoria.
Read: Collaborative funding for ovarian and breast cancer research
In line with our research strategy, we collaborate with ovarian cancer experts internationally to fund the most promising and innovative projects that will have an impact on the greatest number of women possible.
At the heart of everything we do are women and girls with ovarian cancer. Our Consumer Representative Panel (CRP) brings together those affected by ovarian cancer to inform and directly impact how our research is prioritised, designed, conducted and translated.
3. Raising our voices for the ovarian cancer community
Alongside our research, we engage in advocacy work to ensure this ‘silent killer’ doesn’t stay quiet.
We work with health experts, government officials and media to amplify the voices of women with ovarian cancer, to ensure more women understand the risk factors, signs and symptoms and to turn up the volume on the need for more research.
Recently, our advocacy helped three OCRF-funded research projects secure additional government funding.
But our work is not over, we’re continuing to lead the push into for greater research for women everywhere.