The Eve Appeal is the only national charity raising awareness and funding research into the five gynaecological cancers – ovarian, womb, cervical, vaginal and vulval. These cancers are often stigmatised, with low levels of awareness amongst women. Early diagnosis is critical to survival. It was set up to save women’s lives by funding ground-breaking research focused on developing effective methods of risk prediction, earlier detection and developing screening for these women-only cancers. The charity works with a core research team at the Department of Women’s Cancer at University College London. The world-leading research that The Eve Appeal fund is ambitious and challenging but its vision is simple: A future where fewer women develop and more women survive gynaecological cancers.
Women’s cancers are both common and potentially deadly. Shockingly there are 516,000 new cases of breast, ovarian, womb and cervical cancer diagnosed in the European Union each year, which means that on average 1,400 women a day will hear the devastating news that they have a female cancer. These cancers (which are specific to women) make up 47% of all cancers diagnosed in females. The statistics surrounding these types of cancer are brutal, early diagnosis is therefore critical. For example, the awareness of ovarian cancer is very low, which is complicated by the symptoms being similar to those of other much less serious conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Distressingly this means that one in four women are only diagnosed when their symptoms have become so severe that they are seen at A&E. One in three women are diagnosed at the most advanced stage which drastically reduces their chances of surviving the disease.