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Letter to the editor: It’s time to make a stand

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Dear Editor, 

It’s time to make a stand.  

Did you know that one in seven diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year die within two months after diagnosis? We are being failed. Enough is enough. 

On Tuesday 28 June I am marching to No 10 Downing Street, alongside Target Ovarian Cancer campaigners, to hand in our open letter signed by 20,000 people. Together, we’re demanding the government takes action on the awareness crisis in ovarian cancer.  

In 2019 I was working long hours in the City of London. With a daily commute, busy lifestyle and regularly visiting my sick mum, I was tired. But, like many women, I ignored this and continued on. Then one night, I felt a painful lump in my tummy. It was a tumour. I was later diagnosed with stage IIIa ovarian cancer. 

For me, ovarian cancer affected my whole body. My right leg bloated due to deep vein thrombosis and a clot on my lung was discovered. I had intense surgery to drain my kidneys and remove the tumour, as well as a total hysterectomy and many other procedures. I then underwent six rounds of chemotherapy.  

Ovarian cancer changed my life, and with no screening in place it is essential that we are all armed with awareness of symptoms. This means the cancer can be found earlier, and outcomes are significantly improved. No one should die because of a late diagnosis. 

Four out of five women cannot name the key symptom of ovarian cancer, bloating. This needs to change. 

I’m writing to ask your readers to take just two minutes of their time to learn the symptoms and spread the word to their families and friends: persistent bloating, feeling full or having difficulty eating, tummy pain, and needing to wee more often or more urgently.  

Become part of this movement to make change happen in government today by campaigning to improve the lives of people affected by ovarian cancer.  

With best wishes, 

Catherine Hunt 

30 Angel Gate, City Road, London EC1V 2PT  

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