Fighting Gynaecological Cancer


Every year in New Zealand, over 1,000 women are diagnosed with, and over 475 die from, one of the five gynaecological cancers (cervical, ovarian, uterine, vaginal and vulva).

While we do screen for cervical cancer, rates have been dropping and there are significant disparities in coverage among different sub-populations (ethnicity, socio-economic status, geographies).

For the remaining four cancers, late diagnosis or misdiagnosis is a problem. For example, for ovarian cancer, 85% of detection is at late stage, and women are often misdiagnosed initially. As a result the five year survival rate for ovarian cancer is just 39 per cent, compared with 87 per cent for breast cancer.

You can find a copy of our Policy Factsheet here

Our plan

National will provide targeted funding of $20m over four years to reduce mortality rates of gynaecological cancer through greater awareness, clinical guidelines, increased testing and greater access to clinical trials. This aligns with the NZ Cancer Action Plan to ensure lower cancer rates and increased survival.

Policy highlights

  • Greater awareness National will provide $4m over four years to fund a campaign to lift awareness of the symptoms of gynaecological cancer.

  • Improved clinical guidelines National will ensure that revised, up-to-date clinical guidelines are developed for GPs to help them identify gynaecological cancer earlier, and make improved decisions around diagnosis and referring women for testing.

  • Increased testing National will provide up to $12m in funding over four years to cover the increased testing that is likely to result from more awareness and improved clinical guidelines, to ensure that every women in New Zealand who would benefit from a test, is given one.

  • Access to clinical trials National will invest $4m over four years to ensure more New Zealand women have access to clinical trials to improve treatments for gynaecological cancers.

  • Introducing HPV Self-Test National commits to transitioning to HPV self-tests within our first term to test for cervical cancer. To provide all women in New Zealand have access to an easier more convenient and effective tests for early detection of cervical cancer.

You can find a copy of our Policy Factsheet here

You can read our Policy Q & A here