Dear Chief Secretary to the Treasury,
I'm afraid to tell you there's no money left.
Signed, Liam Byrne

(Outgoing Labour Chief Secretary to the Treasury. May 2010)

Monday, 19 April 2010

Ovarian Cancer

Mrs Rigby heard a radio appeal made by Nigel Havers on behalf of Ovarian Cancer Action, of which he is a patron. He became a patron of the charity after his wife, Polly, was diagnosed with the disease/condition.

Some years ago we lost one of the Rigbys to ovarian cancer. Since then we've all been quite a bit more aware of the condition, aware that there may be a genetic link, and all too well aware that it can be almost silent until it's done its' worst.

What Mrs Rigby didn't realise until she heard the broadcast is that survival rates in UK put us at the bottom of the list for developed countries.

You can listen to the Appeal on BBC iPlayer by visiting the Radio 4 Appeal website at

It seems so terrible that millions are spent on employing more NHS administrators than medical staff, fortunes were spent on flu medication that wasn't used. Anybody can get medical treatment, no matter where in the world they come from, but to save a bit of cash British patients can be turned away by the NHS for having the audacity to have a single private consultation.

All this, and all those promises from our politicians, but none of them seems to mention the relatively small amount of public money that's directed towards cancer research. Funding is mostly down to the charities - real charities that is, whilst the fake ones get their coffers filled so they can continue to trot out their fake stats to suit somebody's personal agenda.

Mrs Rigby isn't going to specifically ask anybody to make a donation, because she knows that for many people money is a bit tight just now and there are so many worthy charities out there. But, if you do have a few spare pennies or maybe see a street collection, please don't pass it by. You never know, it could help somebody dear to you.


Macheath said...

I'm sorry to hear about your loss. Sadly, survival rates for all female cancers will probably continue at this appalling level while there are GPs using current criteria for diagnosis.

A relative of mine is lucky to be alive; her GP followed on-screen prompts during repeated consultations and thereby completely missed advanced endometrial cancer.

Luckily a second opinion led to emergency treatment and remission - afterwards, the GP pointed to the on-screen display and explained 'You didn't fit the profile'.

Because the patient was under 8 stone, non-smoking and teetotal, the computer had eliminated cancer from the list of possible diagnoses and moved to a new screen. The GP's defence was that the probability was so low it could be discounted.

There's a lot to be said for donating to charities aimed at specific cancers - they have the most chance of putting right anomalies like this.

Mrs Rigby said...

Too many Rigbys have died of cancer, none of them were smokers, all had what are now claimed to be 'healthy' diets and lifestyles, which is one of the reasons we're so sceptical about many claims used to ban or restrict things.

I'm glad your relative was lucky, her GP has learned a lesson which may save other lives.

I do too agree about charities - real ones that is.