Worrying new research released yesterday by Ovarian Cancer Australia to mark Teal Ribbon Day shows nearly 30 per cent of Australians don’t know the difference between ovarian and cervical cancer, a cancer that occurs in the cervix.
Both are aggressive, but lack of early detection tests for ovarian cancer means it has the lowest survival rate of any women’s cancer. Survival rate for cervical is 72 per cent, for ovarian it is 44 per cent.
The survey reveals the extent of the widespread confusion. More than 70 per cent of respondents didn’t know or mistakenly believed the Human Papilloma Virus Vaccine, which is provided free in schools, offered protection against ovarian cancer. More than half thought the pap smear test could detect ovarian cancer, when it is actually a screening test for cervical cancer.