Dialog Box

State of the Nation in Ovarian Cancer

Despite the many challenges we have faced as a nation in 2020, we are resolved to step up our efforts to see a world where every woman, everywhere is free from the threat of ovarian cancer. The advent of COVID-19 has impacted the entire Australian community, and many people are doing it tough. However, ovarian cancer is not going away, and if now isn't the time, when is? If you ask women living with ovarian cancer right now, time is not something they have the luxury of having.   

That’s why we commissioned this independent, landmark State of the Nation in Ovarian Cancer: Research Audit and why we are passionate about launching it now. The Report provides a clear and informed view on future research priorities to save women’s lives and the urgent need for investment.

The Report is the first ever national audit focused on ovarian cancer research, incorporating views from clinicians and researchers across Australia, the United States of America and the United Kingdom. 

Every major research institute and university in Australia has generously supported the audit either by contributing historical research data or participating in a survey or interview.  This has ensured that the audit is truly reflective of where we are, and where we need to go.

As the country’s primary funder of early detection research, the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation (OCRF) has worked tirelessly for 20 years to fill the breach. But historic and current funding levels are inadequate and, as researchers, specialists and practitioners, we are calling for more to be done.

Read the summary

Download the report

the key findings

The State of the Nation report found that the survival rate for ovarian cancer today is lower than the survival rate achieved for all cancers in 1975. Ovarian cancer has also seen a significantly smaller shift in survival rates, when compared with other female cancers.

This small improvement in survival can be attributed to the lack of an early detection or screening test, and the vague nature of disease symptoms, resulting in 70% of women receiving a late-stage diagnosis.

Unanimously, researchers, those living with ovarian cancer, and clinicians all agree the key to improving survival rates lies in an early detection method.

Following that, researchers and clinicians say finding more treatment options and ways to prevent the disease from coming back is a priority. For those living with ovarian cancer and their families, stopping the disease from spreading and recurring is the priority.

Striving to develop an early detection test for the next generation of women has the potential to substantially improve the survival rate for women with ovarian cancer and save the lives of more than 8,000 Australian women over a decade. Importantly, this estimate conservatively assumes ovarian cancer is detected early in only half of the women that would otherwise have died from ovarian cancer. Improving technologies and understanding of ovarian cancer biology could see this estimate increase further.

the goals

Now is the time for greater investment in outcomes that will save women's lives.

Funding for ovarian cancer has been limited compared to the total potential funding for medical research available in Australia. An increase in ovarian cancer’s share of the total funding envelope, or an increase in giving overall by the wider community, has the potential to significantly expand on historic trends in funding for this rare and low survival cancer.

You can help us shift the dial.

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