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Ovarian Cancer Action charity funding research

How COVID-19 has affected the Women V Cancer charities

Learn how the pandemic has affected the three incredible Women V Cancer charities, Breast Cancer Now, Ovarian Cancer Action and Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust and how you can help in 2021.

The coronavirus outbreak represents an unprecedented situation for all of us, but this continues to be an extremely difficult and uncertain time for so many people affected by breast, cervical and ovarian cancers.

Since the beginning of the pandemic there has been a big drop in cancer referrals causing more women to be diagnosed late due to concerns about visiting GPs and hospitals. An estimated 600,000 cervical screening appointments were not able to happen in April and May 2020 alone.

Surgeries and treatments have been cancelled or postponed in order for the NHS to tackle the pandemic crisis and some cancer services are still not yet running at full capacity. And clinical trials, which offer the hope of innovative and life-saving treatment, have incurred devastating delays or have been cancelled completely.

What's more, our charities' researchers, who are usually busy making new discoveries, have had to miss more than 250,000 lab hours, meaning that there will be further delays to new and better treatments.

Once the pandemic comes to a close, there will be a long and lasting impact for cancer patients. With your help, Breast Cancer Now, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, and Ovarian Cancer Action can be there for these women today and minimise any impact on future generations.

How can I help in 2021?

Our Women V Cancer charities have been hit hard by the pandemic and have lost out on more than £1.5m in 2021 due to our cancelled events. But we are determined to help them get back on track.

With your help, they can restart their cancer support services, which are a vital life-line for thousands of people and they can catch up on lost hours in the labs and start making new discoveries that will improve the treatment of breast, cervical and ovarian cancers for good.

The best way you can help this year is by getting back on your bike and riding from London to Brighton on Saturday 2nd October. This socially-distanced cycling challenge welcomes everyone over 18 years old and has now become crucially important for the Women V Cancer charities in 2021.

Together, hundreds of people from all cycles of life will meet bright and early at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre in South London and ride a phenomenal 100km to the iconic Brighton Seafront. You'll see South England at its finest as you ride along the coast, through the countryside and the outskirts of cities, all the way to the beautiful Brighton Seafront for an epic celebration.

Where your funds go...

Women V Cancer is a unique partnership between Breast Cancer Now, Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust and Ovarian Cancer Action - and brings together thousands of people that are affected by these cancers every year.

All funds raised by Women V Cancer challenges support the incredible work these three charities do - and it's important that we keep reminding ourselves why each mile cycled, and every penny raised, is so vital.

£150 would fund Jo’s “Ask the Expert” service for a day, buy a bottle of serum for Ovarian Cancer Action’s scientists to culture cells in the lab and enable Breast Cancer Now to send out 500 leaflets to doctor surgeries in the UK promoting breast checking and highlighting the symptoms of breast cancer, so that more women can catch it early before it spreads.

£500 will educate over 1,000 women, including those in high risk groups, about ovarian and cervical cancers and their symptoms, while funding one day’s use of specialised microscopes for research into how breast cancer develops and spreads.

£1,000 could enable OCA scientists to detect the types of DNA at high risk of ovarian cancer and fund two specialist nurses on the Breast Cancer Now helpline for a day, while also funding the recruitment and training of one volunteer for Jo’s helpline, who will go on to support hundreds of women per year.

More ways you can help

If you can't make the London to Brighton Cycle Challenge this year, there are so many other ways you can get involved with our invaluable cause in 2021 and 2022. Ladies, saddle up for one (or several!) of our spectacular women-only challenges for Women V Cancer, riding through London at night, cycling coast to coast across Sri Lanka and getting wild with us in Kenya!

Gentlemen, we would love for you to choose to support Women V Cancer on our many life-changing open challenges! From trekking through Borneo and Uganda to see apes in their natural habitat to cycling from Moscow to St Petersburg to exploring the amazing Amazon Rainforest, you are bound to find something you'll love.

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