Bangor’s Battle against Ovarian Cancer

Saturday, 4th of February marks World Cancer Day. Every year, around 300,000 people are diagnosed with cancer in the UK. Thanks to advances in research and cancer treatment, cancer survival rates in the UK have doubled, and now half of the people diagnosed with cancer survive for at least 5 years.

North West Cancer Research Fund has recently launched the O-Very campaign, which is an awareness drive to raise the profile of ovarian cancer and its symptoms . Ovarian cancer is the UK’s biggest gynaecological killer affecting nearly 7,000 women every year. Dubbed the ‘silent killer’, as symptoms can easily be confused with other abdominal issues, ovarian cancer is difficult to detect before it has spread to other parts of the body. This makes it difficult to treat, and on average less than one third of patients survive more than 5 years after diagnosis. Increasing awareness amongst women of the early symptoms will lead to earlier detection and increased survival rates.

Part of the battle against cancer is understanding the basic science of how cancers develop. Scientists at the Northwest Cancer Research Fund Institute at Bangor University, Dr Ramsay McFarlane and Professor Nick Stuart, are currently using state of the art technologies to identify novel cancer markers in patient ovarian tumour samples.

Dr Ramsay McFarlane said “The aim of this research is to improve both the diagnostics and treatment of ovarian cancer, with a long term view to increase the survival rates for women with ovarian cancer.”

Anne Jackson, Chief Executive of North West Cancer Research Fund said: “Our aim is to not only raise awareness about the symptoms of this disease, but to raise vital funds to support the incredible work currently being undertaken by our researchers. Without knowing what causes cancer and how it spreads, we will never find a cure.”

For further information or if you would like to support research at the North West Cancer Research Fund Institute contact Dr Edgar Hartsuiker, NWCRF Institute, Brambell Building, Deiniol Road, Bangor LL57 2UW, e.hartsuiker@bangor.ac.uk or visit www.nwcrf.co.uk.

Publication date: 1 February 2012