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Charity accused of 'insulting women' with claim ovarian cancer can strike 'any gender'


A charity has been accused of “insulting women” with a social media post which claims that anyone “regardless of their gender” could have ovarian cancer.

In a post on June 4, Ovarian Cancer Action posted on the X site: “Did you know that anyone with ovaries, regardless of gender identity, can be at risk for ovarian cancer?”

It followed the question with the caption “Let’s raise awareness by asking: can men get ovarian cancer? #PrideMonth #OvarianCancerAwareness”, followed by a rainbow pride flag emoji.

Underneath the post an image showing what looks an internet search box, reads: “Can men get ovarian cancer?”

The answer given on the picture controversially states: “Anyone with ovaries, regardless of gender identity, can be at risk of ovarian cancer.

“Additionally all genders can carry a BRCA gene fault or Lynch syndrome-which would potentially mean their children would be at a higher risk of ovarian cancer.”

Express.co.uk has contacted Ovarian Cancer Action for comment.

Speaking to the Telegraph, Fiona McAnena, director of campaigns at Sex Matters, criticised the charity’s post and said: “This divisive stunt from Ovarian Cancer Action in the name of celebrating Pride Month is an insult to women who have suffered from the disease, as well as to their families.

“Men cannot get ovarian cancer. To suggest otherwise is misleading and dangerous, particularly when it comes to the health of women with learning difficulties or those who speak English as a second language.”

However, Dr Jane Hamlin, president emerita of the Beaumont Society, a charity which supports transgender people, told the newspaper: “Clearly trans men who have ovaries may not be aware that ovarian cancer is still a possibility for them.

“It is wonderful that Ovarian Cancer Action have thought of this and are doing their best to ensure that all those with ovaries are aware of the potential risks.

“Unfortunately, some people with a limited understanding of the diversity of life may not understand why this is so important.”

Since the charity posted on X, a note has been added to the site stating “Readers added context they thought people might want to know” with a link to a BBC article on male and female sexual reproductive organs.

Reacting on X to the statement from the organisation, one person wrote: “If you don’t understand that men don’t have ovaries I wouldn’t trust you to take action around ovarian cancer.”

Another added: “Only women have ovaries, happy to help your awareness campaign.”

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