Women with ovarian cancer join forces in international billboard campaign

Women with ovarian cancer in the UK have joined forces with others in New Zealand and the United States to organise an international billboard campaign hoping to draw attention to their disease which lacks funding.

The tagline “An ad you can’t miss, for a cancer you do” has appeared on the iconic Piccadilly Lights  in central London and Times Square billboards to mark World Ovarian Cancer Day, as well as over 350 billboard sites across the UK.

UK co-organiser Katie Wilkins was diagnosed last year at 38 years old. Ovarian cancer is the sixth most common cause of female cancer in the UK but Katie says her diagnosis came as a shock.

“I was a ‘healthy’ young woman, and never thought for one minute I’d have cancer. I get asked a lot if it was picked up during a routine smear test – but that only checks for cervical cancer. Like so many people I didn’t really know anything about it.”

The campaign creative, donated by creative and digital agency Topham Guerin, features more than 30 women, all diagnosed with a variant of ovarian cancer called low grade serous.

Low grade does not imply good outcomes. These women are frequently young, and fewer than half will be alive nine years after diagnosis.

Katie said: “Our message is simple. We want women of all ages to be aware of the subtle symptoms of ovarian cancer which can easily be missed and dismissed. And we want more research, so women with our cancer live longer.”

The Piccadilly Lights are owned by Landsec which has donated its screen space.