Toronto, Ontario, August 31, 2021 - One year following the announcement of their Strategic Advocacy Partnership, the World Ovarian Cancer Coalition (Coalition) and the International Gynecologic Cancer Society (IGCS) are announcing the launch of The Every Woman Study™️: Low- and Middle-Income Edition at today’s Presidential Plenary of the IGCS Virtual Annual Global Meeting.
With the potential for up to 30 countries to participate in this global study, the objective of this joint initiative is to document for the first time ever, on this scale, the experiences of women with ovarian cancer in Low- and Middle-Income countries (LMIC) from pre-diagnosis through post-treatment. Specifically, the Study is being undertaken because of the current lack of evidence and insight about women’s experiences in LMIC countries - with a view to helping to address global health inequities and because it underscores the belief of both organisations that every woman, no matter where they live, should have the highest quality of care and experience best possible outcomes.
July 2021 projections from GLOBOCAN reveal that the incidence of ovarian cancer will rise overall by 37% worldwide by 2040; however, LMICs will experience a much greater increase. Over the next 20 years the burden of the ovarian cancer will be felt disproportionately by those least able to access the latest in surgery and other treatments. Building on the success of the first Every Woman Study™️ released in 2018, this new edition will specifically look at those settings that for a number of reasons were not sufficiently covered, usually go underrecognized, and are often medically and otherwise underserved.
According to the Coalition’s Programme Director and overall Study Director, Frances Reid, “The first Study provided a wealth of information about the experiences of over 1500 women living with ovarian cancer from around the world. However, with responses mainly from high-income countries, we were always clear that we needed a complete picture of the reality of ovarian cancer for women living in lower income countries. It is our ambition that this Study will reveal the challenges and perspectives of these often-neglected women. Ultimately no woman should be left behind as we work to change the future of this disease and this Study will help provide crucial evidence for work going forward, particularly as these communities will bear the heaviest burden of increases in incidence and mortality in the forthcoming years.”
Guided by an international Oversight Committee co-chaired by Robin Cohen and Dr. Tracey Adams and comprised of leading clinicians and patient advocates, the Study will run over the course of a year primarily in hospitals and clinics. “The Every Woman Study:™️ Low- and Middle-Income Edition is a hugely complex initiative but one that is urgently needed. Despite the many challenges facing clinicians and patients, including COVID-19, we have been humbled by the level of interest in participating in the Study. We believe this represents a genuine opportunity to tackle the very stark health inequities that exist in these settings through global collaboration,” remarked Mary Eiken, IGCS CEO.
Clara MacKay, CEO of the Coalition goes on to say, “We cannot let the gaps in knowledge, diagnosis, treatment and care widen as higher-income countries benefit from access to new medicines. We are also confident that this Study and its results will support the development of strong alliances between the clinical and patient advocacy communities, which we know can be a powerful driver for change.”