September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

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September is the month to demonstrate your support for the fight against ovarian caner by placing teal ribbons around trees, mailboxes, on fence posts and lamp posts, and any other place you can think of to show your community your support.

Everybody knows that pink ribbons are the symbol of breast cancer awareness that also are  symbolic that you support finding the cure for breast cancer. Besides pink ribbons, there are purple ones for Alzheimer’s awareness, and teal ones for the awareness of the symptoms of and support of ovarian cancer. It’s symptoms are often subtle, making it difficult to know if you have it until it’s progressed to a more advanced stage.

Displaying teal ribbons is one part of a national campaign called Turn the Towns Teal One of the activities happening this month are that health care professionals are addressing women’s groups to educate them on ovarian cancer and spread information about the sometimes subtle symptoms of this cancer.

Detecting ovarian cancer early, as with any other cancer, significantly improves one’s chances of survival. However, the symptoms are often subtle and few in number. Also, there aren’t any screening tests for the disease that are very reliable.

This results in the initial diagnosis of ovarian cancer occurring quite often in the later stages. By that time, one’s rate of survival from ovarian cancer is just 40%, instead of the 90% rate if it’s caught in its earlier stages.

Due to this difficulty in determining if one’s symptoms is an indication that you have ovarian cancer, it ranks number five as a cause of cancer-related deaths among females. Also, according to the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, ovarian cancer, of all gynecological cancers, is the deadliest.

The “War on Cancer” was declared 40 years ago. Ever since then, ovarian cancer’s mortality rates have not gotten any better. About 14,000 women die of ovarian cancer per year in the U.S., while the mortality rates for other types of cancer have significantly improved, largely due to earlier rates of detection.

The American Cancer Society lists some of the symptoms of ovarian cancer at their website.

The symptoms include stomach pain or pelvic pressure; bloating or abdominal swelling; feeling full quickly or having trouble eating; and a frequent need to urinate.

If you have experienced these symptoms in whole or in part for more than two weeks, it’s recommended that you get a checkup from your gynecologist.

The risk of a female getting invasive ovarian cancer at some point in her adult life is one in 71, and the chances of dying from the disease is one in 95.

If you would like to order a teal ribbon and other items like symptom cards to hand out, to show your awareness of the symptoms of ovarian cancer, just click here.

Written by: Douglas Cobb

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One Response to "September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month"

  1. Phil Robbins   September 19, 2013 at 6:35 am

    My wife was diagnosed with ovarian cancer 5 years ago. Her CA-125 was “16,550”, yeah it really was that high. The cancer was almost 10% of her body weight and she had no symptoms. She felt something “pop” in her stomach while exercising and that started the discovery process. She now has a continued CA-125 of only (9). We discovered that she is BRAC1 after the breast cancer (1) year ago. She has also won that fight and everything is in remission. Maybe we can’t cure cancer but the treatment has advanced to the point that no one should give up hope.

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