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Basildon man is face of national ovarian cancer campaign

24th March 2020
Posted by Johnny Jenkins

A Basildon man is raising awareness of ovarian cancer this March as part of Target Ovarian Cancer’s national campaign – ‘It’s time to TAKE OVAR’.

March is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, and Rob Gray is spreading awareness in his community.  

Rob’s mum Jean was told she could have IBS when she visited her GP and asked to be checked for ovarian cancer. Rob had noticed that Jean was quite bloated, and that it was getting gradually worse. After a few trips to her GP she was referred for a CT scan, and she was diagnosed with stage IV ovarian cancer. Jean was admitted to hospital that day, where she remained for the next 10 days and had nine litres of fluid drained from her abdomen. For 18 months’ chemotherapy prevented progression of her cancer, and Jean was able to remain active and take holidays around the UK. However, on the return from a family trip in 2011 it was discovered that the disease had started to progress, and Rob lost his mum three months later. Today, Rob is keen to raise awareness of the disease in memory of his mum.

Women’s lives are being lost because of delays in ovarian cancer diagnosis, according to Target Ovarian Cancer. The contrast is stark. A woman with an early stage diagnosis of ovarian cancer has an over 90 per cent chance of surviving the disease. Yet one in five women (20 per cent) are too ill to receive any treatment by the time they finally receive a diagnosis.

Through the ‘It’s time to TAKE OVAR’ campaign, the charity is calling on the UK government to commit to action. The public can join the call to demand earlier diagnosis for all women at

Awareness of all four main symptoms of ovarian cancer is alarmingly low across the UK, leaving women without crucial knowledge that could save lives.

These symptoms are:

  • Persistent bloating – not bloating that comes and goes
  • Feeling full quickly and/or loss of appetite
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain (that’s your tummy and below)
  • Urinary symptoms (needing to wee more urgently or more often than usual)

This Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month join Target Ovarian Cancer to demand earlier diagnosis. Visit