September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and many people around the country are coming together to show their support. The Ovarian Cancer National Alliance (OCNA) reports on their website that approximately 20,000 American women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer every year. In 2008, they have estimated that 15,520 women will die from this disease.
Sadly, the five-year survival rate for women with ovarian cancer is only 46 percent and has only increased a mere 8 percent in the last 30 years. And with ovarian cancer being the eighth most common cancer among women, organizations like the OCNA need to get the word out now more than ever.
The Alliance, which formed in 1997, is made up of the leaders from seven different ovarian cancer groups. They joined forces in hopes to create a stronger voice so that national policy makers and women’s health care leaders would have a greater understanding of the need for better education and research on the topic of ovarian cancer.
According to the alliance, their hard work is beginning to pay off. They say new treatments are increasing survival rates and a new screening tool to diagnose the disease in now in the works. Until recent studies regarding symptoms of ovarian cancer came out, the disease was believed to be the “silent killer”. The symptoms include bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, difficulty eating or feeling full quickly, and frequent or urgent urination.
In celebration of National Ovarian Cancer Awareness month, the Alliance offers some tips on how to raise awareness within your community. Since teal is the chosen color of the cause, you may want to wear teal ribbons, bracelets, put up teal lights in front of your home, tie teal ribbons around neighborhood poles etc. They also suggest writing a letter about ovarian cancer to your local newspaper or handing out symptom cards and fact sheets to friends and family during the month.
To find out more about National Ovarian Awareness Month or to see what events may be coming to you area this month you can visit http://www.ovariancancer.org .
What do you think about the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance and what it is doing for the cause?
Will you be doing anything this month to raise awareness about the disease?
That is great news that survival rates are on the rise.
I am interested in hearing about ovarian cancer and my heart goes out to those suffering. With that large of a number it makes me wonder about conections between birth control methods and ovarian cancers. It would be wonderful for all of us to gain insight. God Blessings to all those amidst the struggles of cancer.
I would like to hear as much about this type of cancer as I hear about breast cancer, as I don't believe it is as popular a cause for many. My sister had ovarian cancer, went through all the treatments, and was supposedly cured and clear for 9 years after. Meanwhile, she always got her check up, ate all the right foods, took the right vitamins, etc. The suddenly, she thought she had a UTI, only to find that she had cancer again. She went through surgeries, chemotherapy, many tests, spending months in the hospital. She got to go home briefly for about two weeks, before having to return to the hospital again, where she died a short time after. She had just turned 46 years old. We need to promote screening for this type of cancer at a younger age, as well as advice and awareness.
Reading this has really helped me get my act together and make an appointment to have a check up.
I really wanted to have two of my daughters get the shot to help protect them because this type of cancer runs wild in their family. Sadly I can't afford it (series of 3 shots at $200 each) and my work insurance dosen't pay for any of it.
Gosh I am glad that I read this. As I was reading I was thinking 'how would you even know'. I can see how this could be a "silent killer" as many women experience these symptoms and attribute it to other things. It is good thing to bring up with your Dr. if the symptoms persist!
I agree... we all have these symptoms at some point. It's frightening.
I also had no idea about the "silent killer" ssymptoms! What women doesn't have those symptoms st some point; if not every month; in their life?!? I am so very grateful for all the info that is out there for us and the the gerations to come. And my heart and prayers go out to all & their famies who are fighting the battle now.
Even though there are subtle symtoms, your doctor has to take them seriously. The common symptoms of bloating and abdominal pain often are disregarded as stomach problems. THis happened to a friend of mine two years ago. She died of ovarian cancer two months after it was finally found.
This comment scares me: "the disease was believed to be the ?silent killer?. The symptoms include bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, difficulty eating or feeling full quickly, and frequent or urgent urination."
Wow! Every woman should know this. I had no idea. I always think that I will never get cancer because I just don't have time (I believe that is also why I don't get sick) but this really put perspective on things.
I think it is greatly needed to spread awareness about this and after learning more, I am going to actively tell women I know about it.
My mother is an ovarian cancer survivor- 19 years! She was in stage 3 when she was diagnosed in 1989. She is a true fighter and survivor.
schafer08---WOW your grandma is a fighter! I hope that this battle is one she can be victorious at just like in the past!
My family history is heavily saturated with cancer so I'm very aware of certain kinds of cancer and plan on taking extreme actions to prevent in particular ovarian cancer b/c it's so hard to diagnose in early stages. I am really glad to see that awareness for this issue has come to center stage and I do wish that symptom cards were more readily available!
I would too hand out symptom cards. I am not sure where to get them or anything! GOD bless all the ladies out there battling with this and other cancers. You are true heroes in my eyes.
My grandmother is currently battling stage 4 grade 3 ovarian cancer. Cancer has affected her for most of her adult life. She's battle bilateral breast cancer (WON!), Skin cancer (WON!), colon cancer (WON!) and now this. I wish there was MORE awareness for ovarian cancer. Especially since the symptoms can be similar to those of cysts, PMS, pregnancy. Many things that need not warrant a trip to the Dr. PLEASE get you yearly physicals and if you notice the symptoms go the Dr. What you don't know CAN hurt you!
I would absolutely hand out symptom cards if they were available. I'm happy to see this issue getting some attention so that we can be better educated. With better awareness, comes better funding for a cure, or better treatments.
God bless and wishes of love, family, hope, strength, and faith to all that have ovarian cancer or any cancer or health issues. Together with information ,medical technology ,and support we can find the cure.