Ovaries. They’re an organ in our body we rarely think about until we actually need to use them, or until something sadly goes wrong, such as ovarian cancer, much to the frustration of gynaecologists and fertility specialists the world over.
“It’s very surprising to me and my colleagues that in 2021, schools still don’t have comprehensive curriculums to teach young people the importance of the health and wellness of their reproductive organs,” says Dr Raewyn Teirney, one of Australia’s leading Gynaecologists and Fertility Specialists. “Unless a young woman presents to us with debilitating and painful endometriosis or PCOS, or a woman is struggling with fertility issues when trying to conceive a child, we rarely have any idea that her ovaries may not be functioning properly.
“Worse still, there is little education around general health of these vital organs, and sadly, with no early testing for ovarian cancer, we find that this silent killer affects a terribly high amount of women. It is my dream – and that of my colleagues, to not only find a cure for ovarian cancer, but also to teach young women from an early age the importance of their reproductive organs and lifestyle habits they can include, such as eating plenty of antioxidant-rich foods, not smoking and not drinking too much alcohol, to help ward off illnesses of the reproductive organs.”
Ovaries and Cancer – The Stats
Ovarian Cancer Australia estimates that each day in Australia, four women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer and three will die from the disease.
In Australia the overall five-year survival rate for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer is 46 percent. In comparison, the overall five-year survival rate for women diagnosed with breast cancer is 91 percent. It’s clear that we need to make more noise about it, which is exactly what Sydney design duo Camilla & Marc are doing.
Fashion Duo Camilla & Marc Get Loud About Ovarian Health
Camilla & Marc, in partnership with Associate Professor Caroline Ford at the Gynaecological Cancer Research Group, UNSW Sydney proudly launch the “Ovaries. Talk About Them” campaign on Monday 12th April.
Camilla & Marc’s Creative Director Camilla Freeman-Topper and her CEO brother, Marc Freeman, sadly lost their mother to ovarian cancer 27 years ago when they were 11 and 13, respectively.
Motivated by their devastating loss, Camille & Marc launched “Ovaries. Talk About Them” in 2020 to provide both awareness of the disease and direct research funding for an early detection test, led by Associate Professor Caroline Ford at the Gynaecological Cancer Research Group, UNSW Sydney.
Every dollar raised from this campaign goes directly to Associate Professor Caroline Ford’s team’s work to fast track the development of an early detection test, which will be ground-breaking for this disease.
To date, Camilla & Marc has raised an incredible $225,000, kickstarting the further development of an early detection test and enabling the UNSW research group to employ two key female scientists to focus solely on this work.
In 2021, the fashion brand will again launch “Ovaries. Talk About Them” with a five-year philanthropic vision, which will come to life with a new unisex line of limited-edition t-shirts and hoodies. One hundred percent of of sale proceeds will go directly to Ovarian Cancer research.
Associate Professor Caroline Ford said the injection of funds from the first successful year of the ‘Ovaries. Talk About Them’ campaign has allowed UNSW to create a dedicated expert team of researchers focused on the development of an early detection test for ovarian cancer.
“The funds from the campaign have significantly progressed the development of our early detection test. This funding has meant an increased focus and our outlook is extremely positive. In the last 12 months, the team have identified a set of DNA changes specific for ovarian cancer and have begun the process of testing these in the lab on cells from patients,” said Associate Professor Ford.
“Continued funding will mean trialling and testing in blood from diverse groups of women will happen more quickly, which will help to maximise accuracy and move the test to clinical trials. We are hopeful that we could be just years away from an early detection test which would be ground-breaking for this disease.”
Don’t Just Talk – Get Your Hands On Them!
The 2021 “Ovaries. Talk About Them” limited-edition t-shirt and limited-edition hoodie will be available at Camilla & Marc boutiques nationwide and online at camillaandmarc.com.
Camila & Marc is encouraging everyone who buys either the t-shirt or the hoodie to share their experience on their social media platforms with the hashtags #ovariestalkaboutthem #powerandsolidarity #CAMILLAANDMARC.