NEIL Hamilton, MS for Mid & West Wales, and Leader of UKIP Wales, is backing a call to raise awareness of ovarian cancer.
Mr Hamilton, a member of the Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs committee, is supporting a campaign encouraging women with symptoms to get in touch with their GP.
“I have received many letters and emails from constituents who are, quite rightly, concerned about the devastating impact the coronavirus crisis has had on women with ovarian cancer.
“According to a report by Target Ovarian Cancer, since the pandemic the number of urgent referrals for suspected cancer has dropped by 60 % and over half the women surveyed said that their treatment had been disrupted.
“The particular concern is the drop in cancer referrals made by GP’s. Women fear they could come into contact with the virus and do not want to overburden their doctor so fail to visit the surgery for that initial conversation.
“I can understand their concern but it is a worrying trend as we all know early diagnosis saves lives. I am happy to support the campaign and urge women who have symptoms to contact their GP.”
Target Ovarian Cancer is the UK’s leading ovarian cancer charity ad works to improve early diagnosis, fund life-saving research and provide much-needed support to women with ovarian cancer.
To ensure diagnosis, treatment and support are returned to pre-pandemic levels as quickly as possible, Target Ovarian Cancer’s report is calling for Governments to act now.
They also want a diagnostic recovery plan which includes an awareness campaign and a shorter diagnostic pathway; treatment for ovarian cancer to restart as quickly and safely as possible, treatment sites to be set up where surgery in particular can continue in the event of a second wave and recovery plans to have a focus on support services particularly psychological support.
Annwen Jones OBE, Chief Executive of Target Ovarian Cancer, said: “It’s hard to overstate the difficulties faced by women with ovarian cancer during this pandemic. We must not let them down as health services recover. It is urgent that we now see comprehensive plans and a timeline for the full restoration of diagnostic, treatment and support services, and awareness campaigns to encourage women to contact their GPs if they experience symptoms. This is the only way to avoid worse outcomes and a devastating mental toll on women.”