World Ovarian Cancer Day May 8th 2019

Let’s BEAT Ovarian Cancer!

Do Not Ignore Abdominal Changes or Family History 


On World Ovarian Cancer Day, 8th May, Ireland’s foremost Ovarian Cancer Campaigners, Researchers and Patient Advocates are advising women across Ireland not to ignore the warning signs of Ovarian Cancer, a disease commonly known as the ‘silent killer’.

Ovarian cancer is the 6th most common female cancer in Ireland. Approximately 411 women are diagnosed each year with 272 women losing their lives due to the disease. Ireland ranks among the highest in the world in terms of mortality from ovarian cancer.  The BEAT Ovarian Cancer Campaign highlights the key signs of the disease.

BEAT Ovarian Cancer by knowing your body, knowing the signs and getting help at an early stage if you have any of the following for three weeks or more:

Bloating that is persistent and doesn’t come and go

Eating less and feeling full more quickly

Abdominal and pelvic pain you feel most days

Toilet changes in urination or bowel habits

This World Ovarian Cancer Day, a new video from Breakthrough Cancer Research uses the personal experiences of ovarian cancer patients and survivors to highlight the signs and symptoms for women to look out for.

In the video, Clare woman, Mary McGrath says “If I had known 10 years earlier that this IBS was not IBS, I probably would have been caught at stage 2 or 1.” Symptoms of ovarian cancer can be similar to IBS so it is important to talk to your GP, particularly if you develop IBS symptoms after the age of 50.

Ovarian cancer patient and advocate, Anne Herlihy shares her story in the video too. “I wish I had known. If I could go back and know that that chronic constipation I had for months was a symptom of ovarian cancer, things would be different.”

Watch the video at

World Ovarian Cancer Day will be marked with free public information events being held in Dublin, Cork and Galway.

The focus in the past year on another gynaecological cancer, Cervical Cancer, has highlighted the importance of screening programmes and vaccinations, where these are available.  Smear tests and the HPV vaccine are not effective for Ovarian Cancer however.  Unfortunately, the fight against Ovarian Cancer also struggles with a lack of a simple diagnostic test which makes individual vigilance of symptoms all the more important.

World Ovarian Cancer Day is a global movement bringing women living with ovarian cancer, their families and supporters, patient advocacy organisations, medical practitioners and researchers together to raise awareness of ovarian cancer.

To mark World Ovarian Cancer Day, the following buildings have generously agreed to ‘Light Up in Teal’ in support of this global initiative – City Hall, Cork; Convention Centre, Dublin; Mansion House, Dublin; National Concert Hall, Dublin; Pearse Lyons Distillery, Dublin; Titanic, Belfast; University College Cork.

Raising our voices in solidarity in Ireland are Breakthrough Cancer Research, East Galway and Midlands Cancer Support Centre, Emer Casey Foundation, Irish Cancer Society, Irish Society of Gynaecological Oncology, Karen Fenton Ovarian Cancer Fund, Marie Keating Foundation, National Cancer Control Programme, OvaCare, SOCK, St. James’ Hospital Foundation (GynaeCancerCare) and Trinity College Dublin.

To raise awareness on World Ovarian Cancer Day free public events will be held in Dublin, Cork and Galway on Wednesday, 8th May.  Information posters are attached.

  • Dublin:  St. James’ Hospital, CRF Seminar Room, 8th May, 9.30 – 11.30 am. For further information [email protected]
  • Cork:  Western Gateway Building, UCC, 8th May. Refreshments 6.30-7pm; Talks 7-8pm. For further information [email protected]
  • Galway: East Galway Cancer Support Centre (in conjunction with the Marie Keating Foundation), Ballinasloe, 6.30pm – 9pm.  For further information[email protected]

For more information on World Ovarian Cancer Day visit: