Celebrity judges lined up for charity cake bake

Writer and television presenter Cherry Healey is returning to Merseyside for the second year to guest judge the O-Very Cake Bake and back North West Cancer Research’s (NWCR) O-Very, Ovarian Cancer Awareness Campaign.

On Friday 22 March 2013 bakers from across the North West are invited to enter their cake with a chance at being crowned O-Very Cake Bake Champion 2013.

Ovarian Cancer affects nearly 7,000 and kills almost 4,400 women every year and while other cancers are more openly talked about Ovarian Cancer remains a taboo subject.

Best known for her successful documentaries on BBC3 and her ability to speak candidly on difficult subjects, NWCR were keen to work with Cherry again to raise awareness of the disease and its symptoms.

Whilst in Liverpool, Cherry will also be visiting St Julie’s Catholic High School, a local girls school with a strong personal development programme that encourages pupils to discuss relevant issues. Here Cherry will talk to pupils about the importance of being aware of the symptoms of ovarian cancer.

Cherry Healey said: “I am very excited to return to the North West to guest judge the O-Very Cake Bake and support the campaign.

“Genes causing ovarian cancer can be passed down through families so the more we learn to talk about it the more cases we can diagnose early and hopefully treat. This is why I am especially honoured to meet some young women from St Julie’s and talk to them about the symptoms of ovarian cancer.”

Judging panel at the O-Very Cake Bake

Also returning to the O-Very Cake Bake judging panel for a second year will be Wirral-born Claire Lara, the first woman to win BBC2’s Masterchef: The Professionals.

Money raised by NWCR has been funding world-class research at University of Liverpool that uses fruit flies to investigate the role of proteins in the spread of ovarian cancer.

The major focus is on the way cancers are controlled by a molecular switch in which a protein is controlled by adding or removing a phosphate group. Importantly, these switches can be turned on or off by certain drugs, giving the potential to stop cancer cells by pharmaceutical means in cancer patients. North West Cancer Research scientists are working to translate these findings, with a view to developing drugs that prevent cancerous cells spreading.

Anne Jackson, Chief Executive of NWCR said: “Ovarian Cancer is an aggressive disease that is difficult to detect before it has spread to other parts of the body. This makes treatment very difficult, and on average, less than a third of patients survive more than 5 years after diagnosis. Our goal is to understand the cause and mechanisms of this invasive cancer.

“Although figures are improving in England and deaths from ovarian cancer have fallen by a fifth in a decade there is still work to be done. Detecting the illness at an early stage is crucial and by working with Cherry we hope to raise awareness of the symptoms and enable women to know the warning signs.”

Dubbed the ‘silent killer’, ovarian cancer presents itself with symptoms such as abdominal pain, fatgue, distension (swelling) and a loss of appetite – symptoms very often confused with other abdominal issues such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

To find out more about North West Cancer Research, the O-Very Cake Bake and the O-Very Ovarian Awareness Campaign please visit www.nwcr.org