World Ovarian Cancer Day is a global awareness day established in 2013 and is supported by almost 200 organisations around the world.  It was created to raise awareness and solidarity in the fight against ovarian cancer. 

The event, which is on 8 May this year, reached over 100 million people in 2021. The message from the World Ovarian Cancer Coalition is “no woman left behind”.  In this article we will look at what ovarian cancer is, how it affects the Middle East and the links to Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).

World Ovarian Cancer Day

What is Ovarian Cancer?

There are approximately 30 different types of ovarian cancer, which affect the primary peritoneal cavity, ovaries and fallopian tubes. It is difficult to treat as women are usually diagnosed once the cancer has already spread within the body.

What are the Middle Eastern ovarian cancer statistics?

According to a report by Middle East Medical in November 2018, the annual mortality rate per 100,000 people from ovarian cancer in the Middle East and the North African region (MENA) has increased by 20.1% since 1990, an average of 0.9% per year.

Ovarian cancer is the 11th most common type of cancer in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states. The GCC is an alliance of six Middle Eastern countries which include Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman.

Between January 1998 and December 2004, 1,180 ovarian cancer cases were reported from all the GCC states. This is 2% of all cancers and 4% of cancers among females. Bahrain reported the highest incidence of ovarian cancer. The age-standardised rate (ASR) per 100,000 women was 7.4 for Bahrain, 6.4 for Qatar, 5.9 in Kuwait, 5.5 in Oman, 4.4 in the UAE and 2.3 in Saudi Arabia.

What STIs are linked to Ovarian Cancer?

Certain sexually transmitted bacterial and viral infections can induce persistent changes in the female genital tract.  These infections include Chlamydia, Mycoplasma, HPV and Herpes Simplex Virus type 2 (HSV-2). Chlamydia and Mycoplasma are also associated with pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), salpingitis, and tubal infertility. PID has been linked with an increase in ovarian cancer risk

STI testing in the Middle East with Better2Know

It is important to monitor your sexual health to reduce the risk of STIs developing into long term and potentially harmful medical conditions.  Regular testing will allow you to identify any sexual health issues early and ensure you get the specialist treatment you need to help protect you and your partner.

Better2Know is the leading global provider of sexual health testing. Our Middle East clinics provide testing for a wide range of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).  We test for many individual STIs including Chlamydia, Mycoplasma, HPV and Herpes.

You can also choose a comprehensive sexual health screen such as Platinum Screen which tests for Chlamydia, Herpes I/II, Mycoplasma, HIV I/II and the p24 antigen, Gonorrhoea, Syphilis, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Ureaplasma and Trichomonas.

Book your STI test or screen

All Better2Know’s tests, screens and services in the Middle East are performed in line with national regulations. To book your test or screen online, click the Book Now button at the top of the page and follow the instructions. Alternatively, you can telephone our highly trained and helpful Patient Services team 24 hours, 7 days a week on the telephone number displayed above.


[1] May 8 – World Ovarian Cancer Day

[2] World Ovarian Cancer Coalition Atlas 2020

[3] Middle East Medica: Ovarian cancer: A patient centric approach

[4] British Journal of Cancer: Sexually transmitted infections and risk of epithelial ovarian cancer: results from the Nurses’ Health Studies

Image: What is world ovarian cancer day?

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