According to a new survey released today by gynaecological cancer charity The Eve Appeal, 60% of women feel most comfortable talking about serious health issues over a cup of tea at home with friends and family. The survey was released to mark the start of Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and the launch of Make Time for Tea, The Eve Appeal’s annual fundraising and awareness-raising initiative, at the House of Commons on 1 March.
"Throughout Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, The Eve Appeal is encouraging women across the UK to hold tea parties with family, friends and work colleagues to raise funds to support research into early detection and prevention of ovarian cancer," explained Graham, “The aim is that if more women talk about the signs and symptoms more lives can be saved.”
Ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cause of cancer death in women - and accounts for more UK deaths than all of the other gynaecological cancers put together. Over 7,000 women in the UK are diagnosed with ovarian cancer every year and 4,200 of those will die from the disease.
Athena Lamnisos, Chief Executive of The Eve Appeal, said: “Make Time for Tea is all about raising awareness and funds so we can change the brutal statistics around ovarian cancer. Conversation is a powerful tool. 60% of the 1000 women questioned for our survey said they felt most comfortable discussing a health issue such as ovarian cancer over a cup of tea with friends or family at home - but the same research shows that nearly 17% of women don’t feel comfortable talking about a serious health concern anywhere. We have to change that. We need to encourage women to speak openly about gynaecological health, whether it’s with friends, family members or healthcare professionals.”
Dr Monah Mansoori, GP and television doctor said: “This is such an important message given the statistics for ovarian cancer. Historically gynaecological issues have often been a difficult subject to broach for patients and families which unfortunately leads to delayed diagnosis and less than ideal outcomes. Awareness of and being at ease in talking about symptoms or concerns especially within the healthcare setting will help us to make good progress both in identifying problems early and developing better treatments which is vital.”
A number of celebrities have joined in the conversation and identified their dream tea party guests to support the Make Time for Tea campaign.
Both Joanna Lumley and Dame Judi Dench chose William Shakespeare. Dame Judi said: “I would love to ask him if he has any more plays up his sleeve, and what he thinks of all the productions that have been done of his plays. I would also like to know why he left his second-best bed to his wife, and who had the best bed.”
Ray Winston and Eammon Holmes chose each other. Eammon said: “My perfect tea party guest have to be Ray Winston. He’s a great fella and we could talk football all day, even if he is a West Ham fan! We’d definitely need a slice of cake or something to go with the tea because that boy can talk!” Ray replied: "My ideal guest for tea would be Eamonn Holmes, because while I was talking he would eat all the cakes…boy that man can eat. Plus he's good company."
And Sir Lenny Henry chose Richard Pryor, Groucho Marx, Richard Curtis - “He is the best company at tea times, he’s got a brain the size of a whale and a heart that’s even bigger” - and Nelson Mandela amongst others.
People can register for a free Make Time for Tea fundraising pack by visiting www.eveappeal.org.uk/tea or calling 020 7605 0100.