Miho Katagi's story


I had a diagnosis of an ovarian cancer(Mucinous adenocarcinoma, stage 1a) in April, 2004. I was 30 years old in those days.


My son was 2years old. I had an operation and chemotherapy treatment. In the spring of 2006, a surprising thing was told me by my friend who had ovarian cancer: that not all drugs for ovarian cancer were available in Japan.


In order to advocate about this, we formed a patient support group called ‘SMILEY’. We pressured the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare to work on the approval of these anticancer agents. We appealed to the broader community about the need for access to drugs to treat ovarian cancer through the mass media.


In 2009 and 2011, several drugs were approved for use. Many of my friends with ovarian cancer died before these drugs were approved. Now patients have access to them however. This increase in treatment options gave much hope to an ovarian cancer patients.

Access to cancer drugs is not just a problem for ovarian cancer patients in Japan – it is for many other cancers also, like pancreatic. I am working on helping all of these patients find a solution.


I made a booklet so patients can learn about clinical trials for ovarian cancer recently and I working to have a smile become the ovarian cancer patient symbol of Japan.

Ovarian cancer patient support group, ‘SMILEY’ has 153 members now.
Patients 75%, Family(and friends) 25%.
Our Mission:
1. We demand the approval of pharmaceutical products.
2. We offer the information about ovarian cancer to patients.
3. We offer the information about ovarian cancer to the public.

For media enquiries please contact: cmackay@worldovariancancercoalition.