But misconceptions remain about deadly disease
Canadian women know more about ovarian cancer than they did six years ago, but misconceptions remain that could lead to late diagnosis of the country's most fatal gynecologic cancer - a disease that claims the lives of 70% of those diagnosed.
Results of a 2011 national Harris Decima survey released today by Ovarian Cancer Canada show an overall increase in awareness of ovarian cancer as a potentially fatal disease. More than half of Canadian women can now identify four symptoms of ovarian cancer - 54% of women in 2011 compared to 43% in 2005. However, one in four women (26%) still believe that the Pap test screens for ovarian cancer when in fact there is no screening test for the early detection of the disease.
"As the country's only charity dedicated solely to overcoming ovarian cancer, we are pleased that our awareness efforts are showing marked improvements in women's knowledge of the disease," says Karen CinqMars, Director, Marketing & Communications, Ovarian Cancer Canada. "However, this important research also tells us that there is much more work to be done to get the message out about ovarian cancer, which claims the lives of an alarming 1,750 Canadian women each year."
Other key study findings include:
- Awareness of ovarian cancer as a potentially fatal disease has increased (71% vs. 65%), particularly among women 51 years and older, who are at a greater risk of being diagnosed with ovarian cancer (71% vs. 58%).
- In 2011, one in four women (26%) incorrectly believed that the Pap test screens for ovarian cancer, a significant improvement over one in three women in 2005 (31%).
- In 2011, 5% of women claimed to have never heard of ovarian cancer, a significant improvement from 12% in 2005.
While these findings show improved awareness over a six-year period, other findings indicate the need to continue awareness efforts: