I hope you woke up this morning and chose to wear teal, like many Americans will today.
September is National Ovarian Cancer Month, and a month dedicated to a cause that’s near and dear to my heart.
A little over 4 years ago, my friend Bev got diagnosed with Ovarian cancer and cancer made its appearance amongst my peers for the first time. While I lost my grandparents and many family members to the terrible C, I always saw it as a disease that hit the elderly, those who had lived a rich life already. When Bev was diagnosed, the reality that cancer is everywhere… and that it truly doesn’t discriminate.
When a friend is diagnosed with cancer, it sucks. You don’t know what to do. You don’t know how to help. And, well… you just want it to go away. Thankfully, Bev was strong enough for all of us… and all we had to do was be there to support her. She plowed through chemo with grace and came out on the other side, free from this terrible disease and with a fantastic outlook on the rest of her life.
A group of friends and I found the Colorado Ovarian Cancer Alliance, and immediately looked for ways to get involved. We signed up to walk/run in their Jodi’s Race for Awareness in 2010, and we’ve been participating as Team Bev ever since!
Here is part of our rowdy bunch, but we’re missing quite a few from this pic. Our first year, we might have had 20 people. This year, we were well over 50… all for that great lady in the center wearing the teal tiara. We walk in support of Bev, still cancer-free 4 years later!!
Now, walking as a team and inviting my friends to participate raises awareness… wearing teal today draws attention to Ovarian cancer month, and donating money helps fund programs for the diagnosed and support research.
To me, I recognize that I have a audience made up predominantly of women, and as such… I’m going to share some information about the symptoms associated with Ovarian Cancer. After all, there is no life more important than yours. There is no one who knows your body like you do. It’s important that you know the symptoms… so that you too can live a rich, full, healthy life like my friend Bev…
Source: Colorado Ovarian Cancer Alliance
Statistics show that 95% of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer had 1 or more of these 4 common symptoms:
- Pelvic or abdominal pain
- Urinary urgency or frequency
- Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly
Often known as the “silent killer”, ovarian cancer often goes undetected due to the subtle nature of its symptoms. If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, please seek medical attention.
Why is ovarian cancer so misunderstood?
- Annual gynecological exam does NOT check for this cancer
- It’s NOT rare! 20,000 Americans/330 Coloradans diagnosed annually
- It does NOT happen only to older women – all women and girls at risk
- There’s NO specific screening tool for ovarian cancer – undefined symptoms are key
- Majority of women with ovarian cancer had no family history of it
- The medical community often misses diagnosing this cancer
- While nicknamed “the silent killer,” the latest research shows OC is NOT silent, with 4 common symptoms
How can women become aware of ovarian cancer?
- Know the symptoms – listen to your body – Know the 4 common symptoms!
- Advocate for yourself in your doctor’s office – Missed diagnosis is common
- DON’T WAIT! If you’ve had one or more symptoms for more than a few weeks, see a gynecologist, ask about ovarian cancer and request a CA125 blood test, a pelvic/rectal exam and a transvaginal ultrasound
Disclaimer: I am not a physician, just a woman who loves her friends… and wants us all to live long, healthy lives. For full detailed information about Ovarian Cancer, please seek information from a medical professional.