A GP using hand gestures whilst talking to a woman with ovarian cancer

Leaving the European Union - what might this mean for women with ovarian cancer?

You may have seen stories in the news about what leaving the European Union (EU) could mean for people who are being treated for cancer. If you – or a loved one – are being treated for ovarian cancer you may have questions about what leaving the could mean for you, and particularly whether it will affect your treatment. Rachel Downing, Head of Policy at Target Ovarian Cancer takes a look at what could happen.

What might happen when the UK leaves the EU?

There may be changes to how standards and rules for trade and cooperation between the United Kingdom (UK) and the EU operate.

This may have an effect on how easy it is for people, goods and services to move between the EU and the UK, which could potentially have an impact on how and when medicines are brought into the UK.

What is being done to make sure my treatment isn’t affected?

The NHS has published information that explains what measures are in place to make sure that:

  • everyone can still access the medicines they need
  • NHS surgery goes ahead as planned
  • clinical trials continue as planned

You can find this on the NHS.uk website and in these frequently asked questions on the NHS England website.

What does this mean for women with ovarian cancer?

We would expect that the impact of Brexit would be limited for women with ovarian cancer.  The government, NHS and suppliers are working together to ensure that medicines such as chemotherapy drugs (eg. paclitaxel, carboplatin and cisplatin) and maintenance treatments (such as niraparib, olaparib and bevacizumab) will continue to be available.   

You may have heard doctors raising concerns in the media about the availability of cancer treatments, but these concerns relate to radioisotopes. While radioisotopes are used in the diagnosis and treatment of some cancers, they are not used to treat ovarian cancer.

What should I do if I’m concerned about my treatment?

If you have any questions or concerns about any aspect of your treatment, you should speak to your Oncologist or Clinical Nurse Specialist. They will have the most up-to-date information about your treatment.