Pathfinder Northern Ireland

Pathfinder Northern Ireland provides an up-to-date snapshot of Northern Ireland’s ovarian cancer landscape.

Pathfinder is Target Ovarian Cancer’s ground-breaking research that provides a detailed picture of the experiences of those with ovarian cancer in the UK.

It provides an up-to-date snapshot of Northern Ireland's ovarian cancer landscape. We'll use the findings of this unique study to ensure that we continue to deliver the maximum impact for everyone with ovarian cancer in Northern Ireland.    

Pathfinder Northern Ireland


What did we find out?

Pathfinder Northern Ireland discovered that

  • 33%


    of women in Northern Ireland

    could name bloating as a symptom of ovarian cancer

  • 48%


    of those surveyed

    were never asked about the impact of their treatment on their mental health

  • 46%


    of women in Northern Ireland

    wrongly believed cervical screening detects ovarian cancer

A headshot image of Rachel Downing, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Target Ovarian Cancer
When a woman goes to see her GP with the symptoms of ovarian cancer, we need to ensure that she's getting the diagnostic tests needed to rule out or confirm a case of ovarian cancer. What we're seeing in Northern Ireland are avoidable delays in women getting that diagnosis – and GPs not receiving those tests in a timely manner.
Rachel Downing, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Target Ovarian Cancer
Pathfinder Northern Ireland Methodology

Women who received a diagnosis of ovarian cancer during or after 2016: Our last Pathfinder research was conducted in 2016 and this survey aimed to understand the experiences of those diagnosed since then. It was hosted online by Target Ovarian Cancer between February and May 2022 and received 27 responses from across Northern Ireland .This was a self-selecting group, who chose to complete the survey, which was promoted to as wide a group as possible.  

Public Awareness: The awareness survey was carried out by our research partner Survation who interviewed, by phone, 101 women across Northern Ireland, using an adaptation of the Ovarian Cancer Awareness measure.

UK GPs: 31 GPs in Northern Ireland were surveyed online between April and May 2022. The sample was taken from the membership of which is free and gives doctors access to forums, Continuous Professional Development and wider resources.  

The Pathfinder Advisory Panel

Chair: Professor Sudha Sundar - immediate past president British Gynaecological Cancer Society and Professor of Gynaecological Cancer, Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences, University of Birmingham  

Our patient reviewers:  Pauline, Helen, Vicky, Sophie, Lisa, and Lorraine.

Dr Shibani Nicum - Associate Professor of Oncology/ Honorary Consultant Medical Oncologist - University College London Cancer Institute

Helen Manderville- Macmillan Gynaecological Oncology Nurse Specialist, Northern Gynaecological Oncology Centre

Lisa Young - Macmillan Lead Gynae Cancer CNS, Wessex Cancer Alliance

Dr Nina Craft- General Practitioner, Woodbrooke Medical Practice, Belfast