31 October 2012
Each year nearly 17,500 Australian women are diagnosed with breast and gynaecological cancers. This month you can join thousands of women across the country who will be staying in to help fight women’s cancers through Cancer Council’s Girls’ Night In.
Girls’ Night In is a fantastic chance to catch up with the girls, have fun and raise money for all women's cancers, by funding Cancer Council SA’s prevention programs, support services and world-class research.
Cancer Council SA is currently funding more than 40 research initiatives, across a broad range of cancer related topics – including a research project, lead by Dr Carmela Ricciardelli and Ass/Prof Martin Oehler from the Robinson Institute at the University of Adelaide that will identify novel biomarkers and therapeutic targets for ovarian cancer.
Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynaecological cancers in Australia. The most recent national statistics show that in 2008 1,272 Australian women were diagnosed with ovarian cancer and in 2007 approximately 850 women died from the disease.
“Ovarian cancer spreads by travelling to the abdominal cavity, where the cancer cells attach to a membrane called the peritoneum - which is the inner lining of the abdomen, also covering the uterus, bladder and rectum,” says Dr Ricciardelli.
“We have recently identified specific proteins that change through the interaction of ovarian cancer cells with peritoneal cells. Once ovarian cancer cells attach to the peritoneum, they can migrate through the cells of the membrane and invade adjacent organs.
“The implantation of cancer cells onto peritoneal surfaces is therefore one of the crucial steps in determining ovarian cancer spreading.”
The results of this study will provide a strong rationale for targeting these proteins in ovarian cancer patients, which will lead to the development of new protein inhibitors. Dr Ricciardelli is determined to make a difference for people diagnosed with cancer, and particularly improve the survival rates of reproductive cancers, such as ovarian cancer.
“While other gynaecological cancers can be diagnosed at an early stage, there is no early detection test for ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer is a devastating disease with over 70% of patients diagnosed at an advanced stage.
“Despite improvements in surgery and new developments in chemotherapy, ovarian cancer mortality has not been improved over the last decade. And I hope to change that.”
Getting involved in Girls’ Night In is easy and rewarding. Simply get the girls together for a fun night in and ask them to donate what they usually spend on a night out to Cancer Council SA.
“By hosting a Girls’ Night In and supporting Cancer Council SA, you will help us continue to fund important cancer research, like Dr Carmela Ricciardelli’s project, that will help make a difference for women affected by cancer in South Australia,” says Professor Brenda Wilson, Chief Executive, Cancer Council SA.
“Funds raised help support the Beat Cancer Project - a $20 million cancer research partnership (over the next five years) between Cancer Council SA and the SA Government that is leading a new era in the fight against cancer here in South Australia.
“Every dollar that we invest is based on research and evidence about what will make the biggest difference in terms of preventing cancer, supporting people with cancer and finding better treatments.”
Your support can help reverse the confronting statistic that 1 in 3 women will be diagnosed with cancer before the age of 85.
So get the girls together now and join the fight against women’s cancers. Register at www.girlsnightin.com.au, 1300 65 65 85 or find us on Facebook.