Ovarian cancer information for nurses

Information and resources for all nurses with an interest in ovarian cancer.

Resources from Target Ovarian Cancer

Free guides and support for women with ovarian cancer

Our guides are an invaluable tool for supporting women at all stages of ovarian cancer. You can use our order form to order printed copies of the guides, to give to the women you work with.

Support line

We offer a confidential service to anyone affected by ovarian cancer. This service provides support, information and signposting from nurse advisers with extensive gynaecological oncology experience.  

Specific resources for nurses in primary care

Over 40 per cent of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer visit their GP three times or more before being referred for diagnostic tests. And almost half of women are initially referred for tests for something other than ovarian cancer.

Primary care (such as GP surgeries and primary care nurses) plays a pivotal role in ensuring that women are put on the right path for diagnosis as soon as possible. It's vital that primary care health professionals are knowledgeable of ovarian cancer and vigilant of the symptoms that are commonly associated with it.

Pressure is mounting on primary care to provide more services to their local community. Patients are increasingly finding that general practice nurses are the most accessible health professional in the practice, often being offered an appointment with a nurse in the first instance rather than a GP.

We believe it's essential that primary care nurses have access to high-quality information about ovarian cancer. We have taken a three-pronged approach to significantly improve GP nurses' knowledge of ovarian cancer, guide them on how to help women who may be showing symptoms and explore opportunities to proactively talk to women about ovarian cancer symptoms.

  1. Our general practice nurse leaflet helps nurses update their knowledge of ovarian cancer symptoms and risk factors, and gives simple suggestions for discussing ovarian cancer with patients.
  2. We published an article in the journal 'Practice Nursing' that takes an in depth look at ovarian cancer, the challenges of diagnosis in primary care and also the opportunities for earlier diagnosis. (A subscription is required to read the full article.)
  3. Our Royal College of Nursing-accredited e-learning module on ovarian cancer takes general practice nurses through a series of clinical scenarios, helping them to explore how patients might present with ovarian cancer symptoms in general practice.

Primary care nurses typically provide services to women including smear tests, contraception review, menopause clinics and health MOTs. Women often use these appointments to discuss general health concerns – and some would mention things to their general practice nurse that they wouldn't mention to a GP.

It's important that primary care nurses are alert during these times to any mention of possible symptoms of ovarian cancer. These appointments are also key opportunities to offer women information about the symptoms of ovarian cancer, so they can be on the lookout and come back in if they are worried.

Help to raise awareness of ovarian cancer in your local surgery. You can order copies of our general practice nurse leaflet, and copies of our symptoms awareness materials including leaflets, posters and symptoms diaries.

Specific resources for clinical nurse specialists (CNSs)

CNSs are the cornerstone of good ovarian cancer care. They are uniquely placed at the heart of a woman's experience and should play a central role in ensuring that all women get the high-quality care and support they need.

Our nurses' network offers the latest news, resources and tools to support CNSs in improving the experience, outcomes and care of women living with ovarian cancer, including the ovarian cancer care standard.

This free, members-only area provides support and resources to all nurses with an interest in ovarian cancer.

Articles and guidance on supporting women with ovarian cancer

We offer free events and courses across the UK to support women with ovarian cancer, which may be useful for you to refer women to.

Events and training

See all our information on events and training opportunities relevant to ovarian cancer.

Other useful links 

  • National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service cancer hub
    This provides data and intelligence on the gynaecological cancers in England. The hub is aimed at a wide range of professionals working in the field, including NHS providers, commissioners, strategic clinical networks, charities, gynaecologists, nurse specialists and other clinicians.
  • British Gynaecological Cancer Society
    A society of professionals dedicated to improving the care provided to patients with gynaecological cancers. Members include medical practitioners, clinical nurse specialists and other allied professionals, including scientists who have an interest in gynaecological cancers.