Charity launches app for ovarian cancer patients


Wednesday, 20 September, 2017

Charity launches app for ovarian cancer patients

The Cherish Women’s Cancer Foundation, a Brisbane-based charity, has launched a smartphone app to help women with ovarian cancer self-monitor their treatment and results.

The app is set to improve the lives of the 1580* Australian women who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year.

Brainchild of leading gynaecological oncologist, researcher and Cherish co-founder Professor Andreas Obermair, the CA-125 app will allow women diagnosed with ovarian cancer to self-monitor their treatment and results.

The app is named after the CA-125 protein, which is produced by ovarian cancer cells and shed into the bloodstream where it can be detected. Commonly referred to as a ‘tumour marker’, CA-125 levels are monitored through regular blood tests before, during and after treatment to track cancer progress.

After entering their holistic medical treatment into the smartphone app, patients will be able to follow the trends between their treatment (surgery, chemotherapy and radiation) and tumour marker changes, and the subsequent impact of various lifestyle factors on their cancer test results.

Professor Obermair said the CA-125 app would empower women to have greater control over their cancer treatment, and provide peace of mind.

“During the 15 years that I have operated my gynaecological oncology practice, I have seen how anxious patients get when awaiting their tumour marker results,” Professor Obermair said.

“We wanted to create a practical self-tracking tool that would allow women to better monitor and analyse the effect of their treatment on their cancer progress, and give them greater peace of mind in between appointments.

“We hope that by facilitating better communication between patients and doctors through sharing information and results electronically, this smartphone app will assist in earlier detection of cancer reoccurrence, and therefore improve survival rates for women with ovarian cancer,” he said.

In addition, the CA-125 app will gather invaluable data that will be available to gynaecological cancer researchers, and proceeds from sales will go to the Cherish Women’s Cancer Foundation for other gynaecological cancer research projects.

Professor Andreas Obermair.  Image ©Andreas Obermair.

Professor Obermair added: “This app is not just designed for women currently going through ovarian cancer treatment — many women require lifelong tumour marker testing and the CA-125 app can be a convenient companion along the way.

“By purchasing this app for yourself, or a loved one in need, you’re not only supporting the cancer journey of an individual, but you’re contributing to a broader societal effort to find kinder and more effective treatments for ovarian cancer patients,” he said.

The CA-125 tumour marker app is available here on Apple iTunes and here on Android Play stores for $9.99. All proceeds will go to the Cherish Women’s Cancer Foundation to help fund further research into kinder and more effective treatments for gynaecological cancer patients.

*https://ovarian-cancer.canceraustralia.gov.au/statistics

Top image ©Andreas Obermair.

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