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Local News

Shining a spotlight on ovarian cancer, the "silent killer" of women

Dan McCarthy, Elly Mayday, Ovarian Cancer Research Fund CEO Liz Heliotis and Helen McCabe. Photo: Les Hallack
Hosted by the effervescent Catriona Rowntree and sponsored by L’Oréal Paris, the guests at Melbourne’s Crown Towers heard from Elly Mayday, an inspiring woman and model who was diagnosed with a rare form of ovarian cancer.
"Most women have scars," Mayday told the audience. "Whether we wear them on the outside or the inside, we need to be proud of them."
Mayday, 26, has continued to model despite undergoing aggressive treatment, including a hysterectomy at the age of 25. She is featured in the July issue of The Australian Women’s Weekly.
Elly Mayday and The Weekly's Editor-in-Chief, Helen McCabe. Photo: Les Hallack
Elly Mayday and The Weekly's Editor-in-Chief, Helen McCabe. Photo: Les Hallack
Elly Mayday and The Weekly's Editor-in-Chief, Helen McCabe. Photo: Les Hallack
Also attending the lunch was Dan McCarthy, the husband of the late Sarah McCarthy, a former editor of Girlfriend magazine who died from ovarian cancer last year.
"The research is the hope," McCarthy said. "And that has real unmeasurable value."
Neither Elly Mayday nor Sarah McCarthy benefitted from early diagnoses, signalling the urgent need for an early detection test.
Known as the "silent killer", hundreds of Australian women die from ovarian cancer each year. In 2014, almost 1,500 women are expected to be diagnosed with the disease nation-wide.
Survival rates for ovarian cancer have increased in recent years with almost 45 per cent of women now living five years after being diagnosed. However, the survival rates can be improved further with early detection.
Carrie Bickmore. Photo: Les Hallack
Carrie Bickmore. Photo: Les Hallack
Carrie Bickmore. Photo: Les Hallack
Carrie Bickmore, whose own husband Greg Lange died from brain cancer at the end of 2010, told The Weekly that she was inspired to hear Dan McCarthy speak and attend the luncheon.
"I think [ovarian cancer] is one of those cancers that needs more attention and only with that attention will funds be raised for these scientists to create the early detection tests. So I think it's important that the spotlight sticks on it until we find that test," Bickmore said.
The Colour of Hope luncheon, presented by The Australian Women's Weekly and L'Oreal Paris, raised over $10,000 for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.
Jane Hall and Chrissie Swan. Photo: Les Hallack
Jane Hall and Chrissie Swan. Photo: Les Hallack
Jane Hall and Chrissie Swan. Photo: Les Hallack
* Special thanks to Crown and MaxMediaLab for their support

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