Every three and a half hours, another woman is diagnosed with ovarian cancer in Canada. In B.C. alone more than 300 women will be diagnosed with the cancer this year.

It’s the most fatal type of cancer for women. With few symptoms in the early stages it is often diagnosed in the advanced stages so treatment can be difficult.

The bleak statistic—seven in ten women die within five years of diagnosis—fuels the passion of researchers to further understand this disease improve outcomes. 

B.C.-Based Study Underway to Address Need for Early-Detection Methods

A BC Cancer Agency research study (co-funded by AstraZeneca and the BC Cancer Foundation) is currently underway to address the need for detection of some of the deadliest cancer types at an early stage.

Dr. Anna Tinker is a medical oncologist at the BC Cancer Agency who specializes in gynecologic cancers. She is leading a study that explores new methods to detect ovarian and endometrial cancers in asymptomatic women. A screening test for ovarian cancer is needed, because for the majority of women with ovarian cancer in advanced stages, the cancer can be difficult to cure despite surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.

Dr. Tinker’s study explores safe and simple methods of detection and sees two groups of women trialing both a self-swab method and simply wearing a tampon for six hours to collect cells, along with a blood test.

OVCARE: BC's Gynecologic Cancer Research Team

Established in 2000 and supported by BC Cancer Foundation Donors, the OVCARE team is committed to research that will improve health outcomes for women with gynecologic cancer - through prevention, improved diagnosis and monitoring, and more tailored treatment.

Revolutionary New Approach

A decade ago groundbreaking research showed that the most common and most fatal type of ovarian cancer originates in the fallopian tubes.

With this knowledge, the OVCARE team led the country in revolutionizing the way we approach ovarian cancer, by educating women and gynaecologists that removing the fallopian tubes, during certain operations when surgeons have easy access to them may well offer one of the best hopes of reducing ovarian cancer.

World First Prevention Campaign

OVCARE is now leading the world’s first ovarian cancer prevention campaign in hopes of reducing ovarian cancer by 40 percent over the next two decades. 

Their goals are to:

  • gain further insight into the cells of origin of epithelial ovarian cancers,
  • evaluate population-based prevention strategies, and
  • identify at-risk populations with the goal of applying prevention strategies to them.


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