World Ovarian Cancer Day, 8 May 2019

On World Ovarian Cancer Day, 8 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 sixth 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. Watch the video at

World Ovarian Cancer Day is being marked with free public information events being held in Dublin, Cork and Galway. For more information please see the poster on this page.

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, there is also no simple diagnostic test for ovarian cancer, which makes individual vigilance of symptoms all the more important.

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; Quadrangle, National University of Ireland, Galway; 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.

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