Issued: March 2, 2017
PICTURE: A picture can be viewed and downloaded HERE
Epping Forest MP Eleanor Laing supports Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month
Epping Forest MP Eleanor Laing met Birds of a Feather and Strictly Come Dancing star Lesley Joseph and comedienne Helen Lederer to help launch Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.
More than 7,300 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer every year in the UK, and 4,100 women dying - the equivalent to 11 women a day.
The Eve Appeal is encouraging women across the UK to ‘Think Ovarian Cancer’ during Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.
Guests in attendance also heard from Alison Dagul, who has personal experience of both breast and ovarian cancer.
She shared the story of her diagnosis and the need for women to be aware of the common symptoms associated with ovarian cancer as well as BRCA gene mutations.
She was passed down the BRCA gene mutation by her elderly father, which increased her risk of breast and ovarian cancer, and subsequently was the likely cause of her diagnoses.
Sadly, Alison has also passed down the gene mutation to her daughter Gabby who has since had a double-mastectomy and will undergo a hysterectomy once she has completed her family.
Alison said: “I always presumed, incorrectly, that the BRCA gene mutation was passed down the maternal side of the family, but can be passed down via the paternal side of the family too. It was this gene mutation which caused both my cancers.
“I hope that prevention, risk-prediction and early diagnosis research will progress so that no one will have to endure the awful treatment I personally have had to experience, and which my family are witnessing.”
The Eve Appeal chief executive Athena Lamnisos said: “Talking openly is a powerful tool.
"It is our vision that through raising awareness and funding pioneering research we can begin to make a difference.
"Ovarian cancer really is a disease that needs all the help it can get, as survival rates are low, treatment options are limited and diagnosis often comes too late.
"The signs, symptoms and risk factors are too-little known, often stigmatised and not talked about enough and that is why it is so vital that we encourage women to speak openly about ovarian cancer during Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.
“March is a golden opportunity to emphasise the devastating nature of the disease and spread the message about the key signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer.
"So let’s all do something today that can change this. Let’s open up about ovarian cancer, both for women of today and for women in the future.”
Make Time for Tea parties will be taking place throughout the UK during Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month in March to help raise vital funds and awareness for The Eve Appeal.
Mrs Laing said: "I am delighted to give my support to Ovarian Cancer Month and would encourage people to do all they can to help raise awareness of ovarian cancer and to host a tea party to support the cause."
For a free fundraising pack visit www.eveappeal.org.uk/tea or ring 020 7605 0100.