Fresh Hopes Of Survival For One Of Australia's Biggest Killers

Leane Flynn has three daughters and a 30 percent chance of survival.

A new world-first trial could drastically increase the chance of survival for ovarian cancer patients.

And it’s being undertaken right here in Australia.

Ovarian cancer is known as the silent killer, claiming the lives of 1,000 Australian women every year, with little to no symptoms until it reaches deadly stages.

Leane Flynn was 50 when a general health checkup discovered three huge tumours in her ovaries and abdomen.

“I was feeling bloated, change in toilet habits, I had a bit of back pain, indigestion but nothing that would indicate I was carrying around a serious cancer,” Mrs Flynn said.

She was told by doctors she would have had a 90 percent chance of survival if her cancer was detected early.

But it wasn't discovered until stage three and despite surgery and chemotherapy, her long term survival prognosis is just 30 percent.

“Ultimately I have no control over this so I just have to get on with each day,” she says.

There’s currently no method for early detection for the deadly cancer, but it’s hoped that could soon change thanks to a new test developed by but Australian doctors.

“In the laboratory we’ve been able to establish it is very effective in picking up malignant disease,” says Dr Andrew Stephens.

“We hope to ultimately use it as an early stage screening test for ovarian cancers.”

Three hundred Aussie women who are genetically predisposed with the BRCA gene will take part in a three-year trial, which could result in hundreds of women avoiding unnecessary surgery.

And importantly, Leane says, it will give unprecedented hope to the 1,600 women diagnosed every year.

“I need hope, we all need hope. I've got three daughters, I want them growing up in a world free of ovarian cancer.”