More research needed for ovarian cancer


CANCER Council Queensland is calling for research support this World Ovarian Cancer Day to ease the burden of ovarian cancer and remind Queenslanders of the importance of research.

Ovarian cancer is referred to as the silent killer, with symptoms so vague the cancer is often at an advance stage once diagnosed.

Each year, around 280 Queenslanders are diagnosed with ovarian cancer and sadly, over half will lose their life from the disease.

Currently, there are no tests effective enough for a population-based screening program for ovarian cancer.

Cancer Council Queensland is working to identify ways to better the lives of people diagnosed with ovarian cancer through funding the ECHO trial.

The randomised, controlled trial evaluates the effect of exercise during chemotherapy for ovarian cancer on survival and quality of life.

Professor Sandi Hayes from Griffith University said if the trial was successful, the results could change the way forward for ovarian cancer treatment.

“Ovarian cancer is considered the most lethal and misunderstood of all gynaecological cancers. There is so much still to uncover,” Professor Hayes (pictured) said.

“If through the ECHO trial we can demonstrate that exercise helps women live longer and better, then we will use the findings to improve the standard of cancer care for those living with ovarian cancer.”

The Cancer Council Queensland Accelerating Collaborative Cancer Research (ACCR) grant has directly enabled Professor Hayes and her team to push this vital research for ovarian cancer forward.

“Queensland researchers rely on the donor dollar to support these life-changing trials,” Professor Hayes said.

Karlie Holloway, a doting mother of two and step-mum of three, was experiencing mild fatigue and what she thought were symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2014.

While now cancer free, Karlie said she was shocked to receive the diagnosis with such mild symptoms and hopes her story will drive awareness and support for ovarian cancer research.

“Ovarian cancer treatment options are associated with a long list of possible related side effects that may persist well beyond the treatment period,” Karlie explained.

“If we all gave a little, it becomes a lot and would change the lives of so many women going through treatment.

“I would like donors to know that I am speaking not just for myself, but on behalf of all women who have lost their lives to ovarian cancer.”

The only way to reduce the burden of ovarian cancer is through further research.

“Thanks to the generous donations of Queenslanders, Cancer Council Queensland is able to implement this ACCR grant program that is targeted to supporting the state’s best cancer research by local scientists,” Professor Hayes said.

“The donor dollar goes directly to supporting the lives of the 30,000 Queenslanders diagnosed with cancer each year.”
To donate to support researchers like Professor Sandi Hayes, head to cancerqld.org.au/karlie.

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