Ovarian Cancer

Dr. Anna Tinker - Ovarian Cancer Research, BC Cancer
For more information, contact:

Fatima Hassam
Senior Vice President & Chief Development Officer

BC Cancer Has An Ambitious Goal:
Reduce The Incidence Of Ovarian Cancer By 50 Per Cent In The Next 15 Years.

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

With few early symptoms it is often diagnosed in the advanced stages when treatments are less likely to result in a cure.

The bleak fact that seven in ten women die within five years of diagnosis fuels the passion of researchers to further understand this disease and improve outcomes. The OVCARE team, led by Drs. David Huntsman and Dianne Miller believe that most types of ovarian cancer share a crucial feature, they are potentially preventable.

In the past 18 years, OVCARE’s ground-breaking research has fundamentally changed the global understanding of ovarian cancers. Discoveries made at BC Cancer have contributed to incredible gains in knowledge and significant changes in care for women across Canada and around the world.

Research Underway To Prevent Ovarian Cancer

The OVCARE team at BC Cancer is focused on discoveries that have a direct link to patient care. They are building a prevention toolbox to expand on advancements already in place such as the removal of a woman’s fallopian tubes during routine hysterectomy or tubal ligation. The BC Cancer team has also integrated genetic testing into standard care to further identify family members with an inherited risk of ovarian cancer.

Dr. Huntsman’s lab will build upon recent research that identifies women with endometriosis as having a two- or three-fold increased risk of endometrial ovarian carcinoma and clear cell ovarian carcinoma. This work will identify markers within endometriosis that predict risk of transforming into cancer. Their goal is to deploy strategies to identify and prevent the development of cancer from endometriosis.

“I’ve seen the devastating impact ovarian cancer can have for families. In the clinic, I’m treating mothers first, followed by their daughters. This must change – I don’t want to be treating granddaughters next. We must do more to prevent ovarian cancer and help women across generations.”

-Dr. Anna Tinker, Medical Oncologist, BC Cancer

Early Detection In Ovarian Cancer

Dr. Anna Tinker, medical oncologist at BC Cancer Agency, specializes in gynecologic cancers and is currently leading a study that explores new methods to detect ovarian and endometrial cancers in asymptomatic women. 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.