Houghton and Sunderland South MP Bridget Phillipson has sponsored an event in the House of Commons held by Ovarian Cancer Action UK, a charity dedicated to stopping women dying from ovarian cancer.
In a new report launched at the event, Ovarian Cancer Action UK called for BRCA1/2 gene testing at the point of diagnosis.
Genetic mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes increase the risk of developing ovarian cancer from 1 in 54 women to up to 1 in 2 and can be passed down to children.
The report argues that recent trials have demonstrated that testing can be carried out in a way that is affordable, deliverable and beneficial to women with the disease and their families.
According to Cancer Research UK, there were 4,272 deaths from ovarian cancer in the UK in 2011. Between 2005 and 2009 42.9% of adult ovarian cancer patients in England survived their cancer for five years or more.
The early symptoms of ovarian cancer are persistent stomach pain, persistent bloating, finding it difficult to eat or feeling full quickly, and needed to urinate frequently. If these symptoms are experienced on most days it’s important to talk to a GP as soon as possible.
Speaking after the event, Bridget said:
“Ovarian cancer is a dangerous and life threatening illness. One of the keys to beating the disease is to catch it at an early stage.
“Ovarian Cancer Action UK’s report into BRCA1/2 Gene Testing Policy indicates a way in which to better identify those at risk from the disease.
“Any policy that may lead to improved early diagnosis should be properly considered by the government.
“I will certainly continue to pressurise the government to act on this issue.”