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From Rear of the Year to Ovarian Cancer Research - a Day of Two Very Contrasting Halves!

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Last week I had a day of two very contrasting halves. In the morning I was invited to The Dorchester to see the winners of this year's Rear of the Year announced.

The competition is sponsored by Wellbeing of Women supporter, Sally Allen Gerard, creator of Wizard Jeans, (which are designed to be super flattering on practically any shape and super comfortable - I can vouch for this, I own a pair!)

The event was held at The Pavilion Suite in London's Dorchester Hotel, which used to be a love nest for Richard Burton and Liz Taylor whenever they were in town. It has lovely, thick carpets, enormous mirrors and classic furnishings.

A series of rooms lead to a huge terrace overlooking the London skyline complete with a two-tier fountain.

It is here that the two Rear of the Year winners, Shobna Gulati of Coronation St and John Barrowman of Doctor Who and West End fame celebrated their respective Rear of the Year triumphs with a photo session.

John asked if Sally would be prepared to make him several pairs of Wizard jeans based on the women's 'sparkly' design which are laced with Swarovski crystals. He said he'd wear them on tour.

There were lots of photographers on the balcony snapping away and John got so high on the celebratory atmosphere that he jumped waist-deep into the fountain.

'Look, I've got the wet-jeans look!' he said and it wasn't long before Shobna jumped in and joined him for a winning shot.

She said: 'I am really honoured and flattered to be a winner of this year's competition and for my bum to be etched into the history of the award's alumni - a list which includes so many other distinguished bottoms.'

Previous winners of the title - now in its 30th year - have included Fiona Bruce, Gary Barlow and Rachel Stevens. Last year the awards went to the lovely Carol Vorderman, a Wellbeing of Women ambassador and Anton Du Beke.

As the day drew on I had to turn my attentions to more serious matters. My team and I were busy preparing for a special debate on the best treatments for ovarian cancer.

Ovarian cancer is regarded as the silent killer because there are often no symptoms until the disease has progressed to an advanced stage. In almost three quarters of cases the cancer has spread to other parts of the abdomen before it is detected.

Yet one woman dies every two yours in the UK from the disease so we need to become far more aware of possible symptoms such as persistent or chronic bloating, changes in bowel habits, extreme fatigue, unexplained weight loss and persistent pelvic and/ or abdominal pain.

Crucially, we also need to encourage further researching and funding for treatment - something Wellbeing of Woman is fully committed to.

Former newspaper editor and Wellbeing of Women vice chair Eve Pollard, hosted the debate with four of the most eminent ovarian cancer specialists in the country.

They included Professor John Shepherd of the Royal Marsden Hospital, Professor Henry Kitchener of Manchester University, Dr Sudha Sundar from City Hospital Birmingham and Dr Sean Kehoe, President of the British Gynaecological Cancer Society.

All these specialists come from different schools of oncology and considered options such as screening, new types of pioneering surgery, chemo and virotherapy (a viral treatment which destroys cancer cells).

However, while their methods might differ, they all agree that the only way we are going to reduce mortality rates and improve treatment is to fund the best peer-reviewed research.

This strategy forms part of Wellbeing of Women's pledge to identify the important issues in female health that are close to medical breakthroughs and dramatically move them forwards.

The vast sums of money that have gone into exploring and treating breast cancer have saved thousands of lives and our oncologists agree that a further push in funding could lead to real progress with ovarian cancer- something Wellbeing of Women hopes to achieve with our supporters' help.

It was a lively, interesting evening and both our guests and the panel themselves said they really enjoyed themselves. It was a particularly poignant evening for Eve who lost her mother to ovarian cancer when the latter was in her early fifties.

The doctors told me they got so much out of the evening. They rarely get a chance to talk to a really lay audience they are usually dealing with patients who are battling the disease which must, at times, be very tough.

But on this occasion we had an audience of bright, educated women made up of Wellbeing supporters and health editors who were genuinely interested in the advances being made in ovarian cancer and had lots of pertinent questions.

I had women coming up to me afterwards saying: 'I'm so glad I made the effort to come this evening because I got an opportunity to hear from some of the country's best cancer specialists. I feel I've learned so much tonight.'

www.wellbeingofwomen.org.uk