Most women and men will have heard of cervical and breast cancers but perhaps don’t know so much about ovarian cancer - called the ‘silent’ killer.
Three runners, who have all lost family members to the disease, are taking part in the London Marathon on April 22, to help raise awareness and funds for the ovarian cancer charity Ovacome.
Susie Gosby (41), from Gosberton, was 18 when she lost her nan Phyllis to the disease.
The runner works in the busy diagnostic imaging department at Peterborough City Hospital and has first hand experience with women who are being diagnosed and treated for the cancer.
She said: “It is known as the silent killer. It is one of the cancers that does not get that much press.
“The signs are quite subtle and it is normally quite advanced before you know anything.
It is known as the silent killer. It is one of the cancers that does not get that much press. The signs are quite subtle and it is normally quite advanced before you know anything.Susie Gosby, who lost her nan to ovarian cancer
“There is no general screening programme for it at the moment.”
Susie will be joined by her friend Debbie Chessum from Billingborough and Dr Jonathan Parry from the New Springwells Practice in Billingborough.
Debbie (44) will be running her 12th marathon.
She said: “My mum died of ovarian cancer in October 2016.
“She was only 66 years old. She had treatment but the cancer was found too late.”
Dr Parry lost his mother at 42 years old, his auntie at the age of 45 and his cousin at only 35 years old, all to ovarian cancer .
It’s 20 years since he last ran the London Marathon.
Susie said: “This is my second marathon but my first London Marathon.
“I needed the drive to do it and this is a cause close to my heart.”
Susie wants to raise £2,500 for Ovacome. To help the fundraising she is holding a fashion show at Donington Church Hall next Wednesday (February 28) at 7pm, with Lincs Fashions.
On Saturday, March 3, she has a charity bingo night at St Margaret’s Hall in Quadring. Doors open at 6pm and it starts at 7pm.
Debbie and Dr Parry are aiming to raise £5,000 in total and have a spring fair on March 10 at Billingborough Village Hall (10am-2pm).
On March 17, they have the Houndogs band playing at the Bourne Corn Exchange. Tickets are £15.
The runners have fundraising pages on Just Giving. For Susie’s search for ‘Susanne Gosby’ and ‘Doc and Deb’ for Debbie and Dr Parry.
According to the charity Ovacome, ovarian cancer is the second most common gynaecological cancer in the UK and is diagnosed in over 7,000 women a year.
It says that the cancer can occur at any age, although the most common type (epithelial) tends to occur in post-menopausal women, with 90% of cases occurring in those over the age of 45.
Cervical screening tests – sometimes known as smear tests – will not detect ovarian cancer, only cervical cancer.
There is currently no screening programme for ovarian cancer.
The charity adds that if ovarian cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, the outcome is good. However, because some of the symptoms of ovarian cancer are similar to those seen in more common conditions, it can be difficult to diagnose.
The three most common symptoms of ovarian cancer are:
○Bloating that is persistent and does not come and go
○Difficulty eating and feeling full more quickly
○Abdominal or pelvic pain that is experienced most days
- More info can be found on the NHS Choices website.