Every year in the UK, around 7,500 people are diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Unfortunately many of these are diagnosed at a late stage, once the cancer has spread. There is currently no screening programme for ovarian cancer, which makes symptom awareness so critically important in improving early diagnosis.

In the UK, March is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. This provides an important opportunity to shine a spotlight on ovarian cancer and its symptoms, ensuring that more people become aware of the signs of the disease.

Over 10 years ago Ovacome came up with the B.E.A.T. acronym to help people remember the most common symptoms of ovarian cancer. B.E.A.T. is now used by organisations across the world.

B is for bloating that doesn't come and go

E is for eating difficulty and feeling full more quickly

A is for abdominal and pelvic pain you feel most days

T is for toilet changes, in urination or bowel habits

While working to spread awareness among the general public, Ovacome also works to educate student doctors and nurses on how to recognise the symptoms of ovarian cancer and the many ways that they can present. We do this with the help of volunteers diagnosed with ovarian cancer who share their stories, delivering a lasting and powerful message to the healthcare professionals of tomorrow. Alongside this work, Ovacome also runs training sessions for clinicians working in the field, with the aim of improving care and reducing the barriers experienced by some communities in ovarian cancer care.

This March in particular we're working to highlight that ovarian cancer symptoms are often mistaken for gut health problems. Unfortunately a story we hear often from our community is that key ovarian cancer symptoms were mistaken for those of common digestive problems such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), by both those affected and their health professionals. Find out more.

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Symptom awareness wallet cards

Take action with us this Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

You can make a difference this March by helping us to spread our vital awareness message.

One of the most powerful ways to raise awareness is by sharing your experience of ovarian cancer, whether you have been diagnosed yourself or you have supported someone with the disease. We will be sharing as many stories as we can across March, so please let us know here if you would be interested in sharing yours. You'll have control over where your story is shared and if you're interested in press opportunities, Ovacome will support you every step of the way.

You can read diagnosis stories from other members of our community here.

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Fundraise this Awareness Month

You can make a huge difference to our work, both in supporting those affected by ovarian cancer and in working to improve future diagnosis and care, by donating or fundraising for Ovacome.

This year we've set ourselves the ambitious target of raising £60,000 this Awareness Month. This money would make a lasting impact on the lives of the people we help, and would fund our education and awareness programmes.

How can I donate?

Any donation that you feel able to make would go a long way in helping the ovarian cancer community. You can donate in various ways:

I'd like to fundraise but I'm not sure where to start!

There are lots of ways that you can fundraise for Ovacome, whether you want to host a coffee morning with friends or you want to take on an epic challenge. If you're not sure where to start and would like some ideas, fill in our fundraising form and you'll be sent a fundraising pack with tips and advice.

You can browse fundraising ideas and challenge events (runs, cycles, walks) on our website.

The Ovarian Cancer Teal Walk

The Teal Walk is a virtual walk suitable for all fitness abilities. Set yourself a personal goal for the month and ask family and friends to sponsor you. You can wear an Ovacome t-shirt while you walk to raise awareness. We can also supply you with a fitness wristband that counts your steps, if you commit to raising at least £50.

What's more, there is a Walk With Me community as part of the Teal Walk, where members stay in touch through a Whatsapp group, to share their progress and connect with each other.

Find out more about the Teal Walk

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Join Team Ovacome this March

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Funded by Zurich Community Trust