Last year deaths from ovarian cancer topped the number of women killed on our roads, yet people with the disease say it is an ignored crisis.
On Tuesday, a petition with more than 7000 signatures, calling for national diagnostic guidelines to be developed, better treatment options, as well as more government funding, was presented National Party MP Louise Upston on the steps of Parliament.
Those steps were smothered in 182 white crosses – the number of people who died last year of the disease.
Jane Ludemann, who co-organised the petition, was diagnosed in 2017.
“It took over two years for me to get my diagnosis and unfortunately the doctors think that my cancer’s not curable.”
She said the sector was woefully underfunded.
“At a government level we’re not funding anything, in regard to awareness, and most years we don’t fund any research. It’s one of our least-funded cancers in New Zealand.”
A recent survey by her charity Cure Our Ovarian Cancer, found 90 per cent of women could not name a single symptom of ovarian cancer before their diagnosis and most experienced significant difficulties in accessing the blood test and ultrasound required to find their cancer.
Education and awareness can save lives. That would be money well spent.