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Lighting up for World Ovarian Cancer Day

20 May, 2022

20 Buildings around Ireland Lit Up in Teal on World Ovarian Cancer Day, Sunday 8th May to raise awareness of Ovarian Cancer

Ireland has one of the highest death rates from ovarian cancer in Europe.  Approximately 400 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year in Ireland and almost 300 women die every year. On May 8th the Irish Network of Gynaecological Oncology (INGO)  launched a campaign for World Ovarian Cancer Day to help raise awareness of the symptoms of ovarian cancer and encourage women to contact their GP if they are worried, as early diagnosis saves lives. 

The campaign centred around the BEAT symptoms:

  • Bloating that is persistent and doesn’t come and go
  • Eating less and feeling full more quickly
  • Abdominal and pelvic pain you feel most days
  • Toilet changes in urination or bowel habits

There is no screening test for ovarian cancer but women can be more symptom aware.  The symptoms of ovarian cancer can often be confused with irritable bowel syndrome, and we need to get the BEAT message out there so women know that if they experience any of the symptoms for three weeks or more, they should contact their GP.  The campaign dispelled the myth that cervical screening detects ovarian cancer.  New research commissioned by the Irish Network for Gynaecological Oncology (INGO) has highlighted that 79% of women in Ireland are not confident they would notice a symptom of ovarian cancer.

Awareness raising amongst the general public is vital and on May 8th, World Ovarian Cancer Day, 20 buildings across Ireland lit up in teal, the international campaign colour. The full list of sites were Bunratty Castle, Co. Clare; City Hall, Cork; Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital, Dublin; Cork Cancer Care Centre, Cork; Cork County Hall; East Galway and Midlands Cancer Support Centre, Ballinasloe, Co. Galway; Kilkenny Castle; Mansion House, Dublin; National Concert Hall, Dublin; National University of Ireland, Galway; Pearse Lyons Distillery, Dublin; Purple House Cancer Support, Wicklow; Rock of Cashel, Tipperary; St. James’s Hospital, Dublin; The Convention Centre Dublin; The Shakey Bridge (Daly’s Bridge), Cork; Titanic, Belfast; Trinity College Dublin; University College Cork.

In addition, two leading Irish artists joined the campaign to help spread the word on the signs of ovarian cancer:

  • Artist and fashion designer, Helen Steele, has designed an eye-catching tote bag and postcard using effective repetition of the word BEAT – highlighting the need to constantly repeat the symptoms in order to increase awareness and save lives.
    Helen Steele bag
  • WOCD Listen to the amazing words of Poet Laurate for Wexford Sasha Terfous, who created this piece specifically for the campaign. ‘You are human, you are not a god or a legend, this is not your war or your world, this is but a chapter in a story that you are creating from the heart… BEAT’

The Irish Network for Gynaecological Oncology is a voluntary group consisting of thirty of Ireland’s foremost gynaecological cancer campaigners, researchers, and patient advocates, listed below. The aim of the group is to raise awareness of gynaecological cancers across the island of Ireland.

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