Federal appropriations for ovarian cancer research have declined in real dollars, although the death rate has remained stagnant for 30 years. Survivorship will not improve without greatly increasing and accelerating the amount of research. Improvements in ovarian cancer survival lag behind advances being made with many other cancers. For example, the five year survival rate for cervical cancer is 72%, for breast cancer 89% and for ovarian cancer 46%.
The Ovarian Cancer National Alliance (OCNA) is working to help save women’s lives. OCNA is a non-profit umbrella organization of national, regional and local scope that focuses on helping to save the lives of women who have or will have ovarian cancer by increasing advocacy, education and awareness. Its primary goals include:
• Increasing advocacy on Capitol Hill for adequate federal funding to increase ovarian cancer research and improve health care practice. OCNA seeks to double total federal funding for research over the next 10 years to $250 million annually.
• Educating and supporting policy-makers, health care professionals and ovarian cancer patients, survivors and their loved ones. For example, operating Survivors Teaching Students: Saving Women’s Lives (STS) helps medical students learn to identify women at risk for ovarian cancer and those who have the disease. Currently, the STS Program is active in more than half of the medical schools in the United States.
• Implementing public awareness campaigns about ovarian cancer, symptoms and treatment options. OCNA works with the President, House and Senate to proclaim September as National Ovarian cancer Awareness Month, which contributes significantly to public awareness of ovarian cancer. OCNA’s national Partner Member grass-roots activities include health fairs, runs, fundraisers and other events.
To join OCNA in its fight to conquer ovarian cancer or to learn more about the disease, please call 202.331.1332 or visit the web site at www.ovariancancer.org.