Ovarian cancer is the second most common gynaecological cancer in Australia.
On average, four women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer every day.
There has been an alarming increase in the number of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer and each woman fights this disease with only a 44% chance of survival^.
Dr Melissa Pitman, Head of Drug Discovery Unit, Molecular Signalling Laboratory, Centre for Cancer Biology was recently awarded a Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) Research Fund Florey Fellowship to continue her work to find new treatments for women with ovarian cancer.
There has been an alarming increase in the number of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the last four years. It is estimated that 1,510 women will be diagnosed this year, a significant jump from 1,365 in 2016. Further, almost half of all women diagnosed (45.7% at 2015) will succumb to the disease.*
Tragically, ovarian cancer is often diagnosed when it has already spread to other organs. The signs and symptoms are not obvious and it is not picked up until it is too late. Many women endure further suffering due to the basis of Dr Pitman’s study – a protein called sphingosine kinase 1 or SK1.
Judy Gent is just one of the women who wants to do all she can to change the future – and bring hope to women diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
Judy was shocked to discover she had ovarian cancer in January this year.
“As a very fit, active 74-year-old, playing tennis, table tennis, walking and gardening, I just couldn’t believe it. I knew very little about ovarian cancer before my diagnosis,” Judy said.
“I had noticed a few things such as tiredness and some swelling in my leg, but I quickly put these symptoms down to getting older and water retention. It was only after I noticed a lump in my groin that I decided to investigate further.”
“More funds are needed to enable brilliant researchers, such as Melissa Pitman, to keep their important research going and find better treatments for this insidious disease, ovarian cancer.” Judy Gent
Judy Gent, ovarian cancer patient with Dr Melissa Pitman.