Dialog Box

Impact - Saving lives

Our purpose

Ovarian Cancer Australia prides itself on being visionary, persistent and leading by example; advocating for those affected by working collaboratively to make ovarian cancer a national priority.

Why we advocate for change

Ovarian cancer has the lowest survival rate of any women’s cancer.  In Australia, the overall five-year survival rate for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer is 46 per cent. In comparison, the overall five-year survival rate for women diagnosed with breast cancer is 91 per cent. 

Ovarian cancer receives less than 25 per cent of the funding of other, less deadly cancers. Expenditure data published by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) reveals that, between 2014 and 2018, ovarian cancer received four times less funding for research than breast cancer and around half that of prostate cancer.

Ovarian Cancer Australia leads the National Action Plan, a road map designed to improve sector collaboration and help fast-track better outcomes for women living with ovarian cancer.  The National Action Plan is used to advocate for; and guide; increased research funding. OCA also leads psycho-social research for ovarian cancer and uses learnings to continually improve outcomes for those affected.

Over the past 5 years...

Cancer research & clinical trials

$35 Million

in government funding has been secured for the sector including $20M for ovarian cancer support, prevention, early detection and treatments via the MRFF and $15M for reproductive cancer clinical trials with the aim to develop new treatments.

Australian Ovarian Cancer Study (AOCS)

$1.1 Million

in matched funding with Peter MacCullum, enabling researchers to work towards an ovarian cancer breakthrough, with 2000 bio specimens donated by Australian women.

Research projects


projects have benefitted from the Australian Ovarian Cancer Study (AOCS) including Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre; Westmead Institute for Cancer Research and Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR) delivering major advances.

Psychosocial support

$1.6 Million

in funding to provide better access to psychosocial support for women with ovarian cancer. The capacity to support more than 400 women with more complex needs living with ovarian cancer.

Increased testing referrals


women with high grade serous ovarian cancer will now have the need for further genetic assessment highlighted in their pathology report. Ovarian Cancer Australia’s recently advocated to the Royal College of Pathologists (RCPA) for this change which may result in more specific treatment options and ultimately improved outcomes for women.

National Action Plan attendees


high profile researchers, clinicians and industry bodies united with Ovarian Cancer Australia to refine the National Action Plan in August 2019. The aim to make significant change in the number of women dying from the disease.

Consumer surveys


surveys completed by women affected by ovarian cancer and their families, identifying everything from the information and support services they need to gaining feedback on what should be the key priorities in the National Action Plan.

Traceback prevention

$2.9 Million

in funding for TRACEBACK, a ground-breaking collaboration between OCA and Peter Mac aimed at preventing cases of ovarian cancer - identifying unaware carriers of BRCA gene mutations.

"With ovarian cancer, women like me literally don't live long enough to form the army of advocates as our breast cancer sisters have done so successfully... we're on our knees in trying to advance this cancer and fundamentally that means we need significant sums of money. Four times as much money is spent on breast cancer as is on our cancer."

Jill Emberson

Ovarian cancer advocate