Entertainment

Kate Winslet raises ovarian cancer awareness following mother's death

The actress's mother passed away in 2017.

Kate Winslet is taking part in a new campaign launched by Ovarian Cancer Action after losing her mother to the disease.

The actress said she has “first-hand experience of the awful loss that comes with this terrible disease” after her mother’s death in 2017, and is hoping to raise awareness.

She has now lent her voice to a campaign video which features music by British singer Birdy and a cast of young girls speaking the words of Gloria Gaynor’s anthem, I Will Survive.

The campaign highlights that one woman dies of ovarian cancer every two hours in the UK and aims to raise awareness and fund research.

Winslet, 44, said: “Having lost our mum to ovarian cancer in 2017, as a family we have first-hand experience of the awful loss that comes with this terrible disease.

“Early screening and further research is invaluable.

“Raising awareness as well as funds, becomes immediately empowering to women and girls, whilst at the same time giving genuine hope for a brighter future and cancer free lives.”

Birdy added: “I feel so honoured to be a part of this film for Ovarian Cancer Action and was particularly shocked by how little I knew about the disease.

“It’s vital that we work together to learn and understand the symptoms and where possible, help fund ovarian cancer research. We can make things better for the next generation.”

The organisation said that although it is most prevalent in those over 50, a growing number of young women are being diagnosed with the disease but that awareness is still at a low.

Research by Ovarian Cancer Action found that almost half of 18 to 24-year-olds (48%) would be put off seeing a doctor because they fear being examined intimately and almost a third (29%) said they would be scared they would be diagnosed with something serious.

Cary Wakefield, CEO of Ovarian Cancer Action, said: “For many years ovarian cancer has been overlooked and underfunded.

“It’s a cancer that takes the life of a woman every two hours here in the UK, and early diagnosis can be the difference between life and death.

“Today less than a third of women are diagnosed before their cancer spreads, where treatment becomes harder and chance of survival becomes low.

“But we can change this.

“Investing in research now could produce a reliable screening tool, better treatments, and will transform the lives of the next generation. If we act now, they will survive.”

Actor Gwyneth Strong, who is patron of the organisation, said: “Ovarian cancer kills more women than all the other gynaecological cancers together.

“It’s not right, then, that it doesn’t get the attention it deserves. More awareness will lead to better funding, and that means fewer lives lost.”

For more information visit www.ovarian.org.uk.

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