Canning Town woman who battled ovarian cancer twice in her early twenties fronts national awareness campaign

PUBLISHED: 18:21 23 October 2017 | UPDATED: 18:42 23 October 2017

Lisa Arthurs is one of the main faces for Target Ovarian Cancer's nationwide Take Ovar campaign. Picture: Target Ovarian Cancer

Lisa Arthurs is one of the main faces for Target Ovarian Cancer's nationwide Take Ovar campaign. Picture: Target Ovarian Cancer

Target Ovarian Cancer

A Canning Town woman who has overcome ovarian cancer twice is one of the faces of a new national campaign raising awareness of the disease.

Lisa Arthurs, 28, is hoping to highlight the chronic underfunding the disease receives compared with other cancers as one of the faces of Target Ovarian Cancer’s TAKE OVAR campaign.

The Canadian-born physiotherapist, who was first diagnosed with a tumour at the age of 21 in 2011, says she is also passionate about changing the future for women - especially younger ones - who don’t always get enough emotional support.

Lisa said: “Definitely for me it was the experience I had when I came to London and I realised I needed help and I had no idea where to go.

“I felt really really alone and I didn’t realise there were other [pre-menopause] women going through the same thing as me,” she said.

Although Lisa’s cancer was in full remission by the time she arrived in London four and a half years ago, she was struggling emotionally.

She had already battled the return of her aggressive tumour in 2012, after being told her original surgery hadn’t removed it all.

“I was physically absolutely better but I just had a delayed psychological impact,” Lisa said.

“[I realised] There is a reason why I am unhappy and there is a reason why I feel the way I feel and I need to get help.”

Despite seeing several healthcare professionals, Lisa only found support when she came across Target Ovarian Cancer online.

“To me it is really important,” she said in terms of GPs and hospitals signposting services. “I am a health practitioner as well and it is just about getting information out to doctors.”

Sadly, 11 women die every day from ovarian cancer and incidence rates are rising – with a projected 15 per cent spike in the years up to 2035.

Lisa, who says she is unfazed about having her image shown across billboards and online, hopes her contribution will save lives.

“I feel like it something I really enjoyed doing knowing I am getting out there and helping people,” she said.

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