Woman with ovarian cancer in a treatment room looking down as a nurse provides chemotherapy

Taking action on long waiting times

Our new report confirms ovarian cancer has the second longest treatment wait times of all cancers.

In our latest report we’ve learned that women with ovarian cancer are waiting longer for treatment than those with other cancers – on average 69 days. The only one that takes longer is kidney cancer. 

Do you want to change this? Sign our pledge to take action on transforming the future of ovarian cancer diagnosis, treatment and care.  

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We’re determined to change things. With your help we can build a strong, people-powered movement in every nation of the UK. 

Long waits cause uncertainty 

The time from GP referral (when a GP refers you to a specialist hospital) to starting treatment takes on average 69 days. The only cancer that takes longer is kidney cancer, but we're determined to make change. We know that lengthy waits for treatment can often mean people are more unwell when they start.  

Annwen Jones OBE, Chief Executive of Target Ovarian Cancer, said:

Nobody should have to deal with the level of uncertainty caused by long treatment waiting times. It is imperative that we now work at pace to remove any and all barriers to excellent NHS care for everyone with ovarian cancer.

Further inequalities 

Our report also found over half of those diagnosed with ovarian cancer after a visit to A&E are over 70 years old. In fact, women over 85 are twice as likely to be diagnosed in A&E than women under 50. 

It also shone a light on variation by ethnicity in the time taken between referral and starting treatment. On average, women in the UK from an Asian background waited 74.5 days from being referred to starting treatment, Black women waited 73.5 days and White women 68 days. 

We're dedicated to ensuring everyone with ovarian cancer, no matter who they are and where they live, has access to excellent diagnosis and treatment. We’re doing this through the ovarian cancer audit feasibility pilot, and through our work on equity, diversity and inclusion

Read the full report: 'Data briefing 2022: achieving excellence in ovarian cancer care' [PDF]