AN MP has joined forces with an ovarian cancer sufferer and a national charity in a bid to improve survival rates in Hampshire.
George Hollingbery, who represents the Meon Valley, attended the launch of a new report ‘making a difference for ovarian cancer patients’ in Westminster and met up with constituent Dawn Baxter.
The 49-year-old mum-of-two, from Clanfield, has been fighting the condition since January.
The parliamentary debate was aimed at highlighting the steps needed to improve the prognosis for patients.
Dawn, who has children aged 11 and 13, has finished nine weeks of chemotherapy and has also had surgery.
She is waiting for a final check-up.
Mrs Baxter said: ‘Going to Parliament to help launch this report was a big boost for me as it means I can do my bit to help raise more awareness of ovarian cancer and hopefully this will lead to more women seeking treatment and surviving this awful disease.’
Just four in 10 women in England are expected to survive ovarian cancer for at least five years and survival rates for the disease in the UK are among the lowest in Europe, according to the national charity Ovacome, which commissioned the report.
Speaking at the Westminster event, Mr Hollingbery said: ‘It was humbling to meet Dawn, who had come to London despite her health worries to support this important initiative. Ovarian cancer is the fourth biggest cancer killer among women in the UK and more needs to be done to ensure more women survive this terrible disease.’
Several people across the Portsmouth area have held fundraising events in recent years in an effort to raise cash for research into the disease.
Hairdressers at Charter Cutting Company in High Street, Emsworth, have raised well over £3,000 to help the cause.
Louise Bayne, Ovacome’s chief executive, added: ‘Every day approximately 12 women will lose their lives to ovarian cancer in the UK. This new report, based on the views of patients, sets out what steps need to be taken to help bring this number down. We are calling for the government and NHS to take decisive action to improve the outlook for those affected by ovarian cancer.’
Based on a survey of its members, the report included a series of recommendations in three areas – symptom awareness and early diagnosis, access to patient-centred treatment, survivorship and research.