Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation

The Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation was co-founded in May 2000 by Associate Professor, Thomas Jobling and Chief Executive Officer, Liz Heliotis. The OCRF is committed to prosper research for an ‘early detection test’. It also seeks to support patients and their relatives in understanding this disease and its treatment as well as to raise public awareness.

The OCRF principle aim is to foster research of an early detection test to allow patients to be diagnosed at an early stage, this will significantly improve the survival rates.

The corporate and community support we have received over the last few years from partners has allowed the OCRF to progress our knowledge of this disease and positioned the OCRF as a leading independent agency dedicated to the vital research of this insidious disease.

Mission Statement

  • To develop and implement an early detection program
  • To improve the mortality rate, management and long-term survival of women with ovarian cancer
  • To raise community awareness of the importance of early detection

Silver Ribbon

The silver ribbon is the identifier for excellence in Ovarian Cancer Research. The ribbon is a continued reminder of the passion needed to search for a breakthrough & deeper understanding into this disease.

The Facts

  • 1 woman dies from ovarian cancer approximately every 10 hours
  • Ovarian cancer is a malignant tumour of the ovary.
  • It is a “silent killer” in our society.
  • Currently, ovarian cancer has a lower survival rate than both breast and cervical cancer, both of which have early detection tests.
  • 70% of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer will die of their disease.
  • Over 50% of Australian women are unaware that ovarian cancer is not detected by a pap smear.
  • Currently no simple or effective early screening method exists, which means most women diagnosed are already in the advance stages of the disease.
  • At present, when detected and treated early, 80-100% of women will survive beyond 5 years compared with only 20-30% when diagnosed at late stage.
  • It is the leading cause of death of all gynaecological cancers.
  • The key to changing this statistic and giving women with ovarian cancer a better long-term outlook is early detection.

Screening Test

Proposed screening tests for ovarian cancer have featured in the lay-press, both electronic and print, in recent months. The view of OCRF, consistent with the draft National Statement prepared by NBOCC, is that no test currently exists which meets acceptable standards of accuracy for population-based screening for ovarian cancer.

Australia has no mechanism in place as yet to evaluate or licence tests which claim to detect hidden diseases. Nevertheless, there has to be good evidence that a test is sensitive (ie, can reliably detect the disease whenever it is present) AND specific (ie, can rule out the disease in healthy persons). No test for ovarian cancer has been shown to meet acceptable levels for these criteria. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration examines evidence that tests meet suitable standards, and has recently forced the withdrawal of one heavily marketed test which failed to meet minimum standards.

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