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Sept Ovarian cancer Awareness...what you can do to help

BonnieR's picture
Posts: 1549
Joined: Jan 2004

Hi everyone, just wanted to jump on my soapbox and ask everyone to at least write your local newspaper this month to heighten awareness. I have had about 8 papers so far this year publish the letter to Editor's with the signs and symptoms. We can make a difference, we can be help heighten awareness, we can let women know that ovarian cancer isn't really silent that it's just no one is really listening. Here is a sample of one of the letters. I change it according to how many words they allow. I have been doing this ever since I was first diagnosed. I also send something to all the businesses to put up on there bulletin boards.

So make a difference in your area. Write that letter to the editor.

More Awareness needed for Ovarian Cancer

Here I am 2 1/2 years later writing another article in hopes to help raise awareness and educate women on the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer. September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness month. President Bush signed a proclamation on August 29th officially declaring September as Ovarian Cancer Awareness month.
Are you wearing your teal ribbons to help heighten awareness? Do you have the signs and symptoms posted somewhere in your office? Women are educated and screened annually for breast cancer but nothing is ever shared about ovarian cancer. In January 2003 I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer that had spread to other organs. I had surgery on January 24th followed by 8 rounds of chemo, since then I have dealt with ovarian cancer on an ongoing basis.
I want to encourage the clinics to have pamphlets available that list the signs and symptoms. If I had known more about ovarian cancer maybe we would have caught this sooner. The odds of beating ovarian cancer are low because it is found in the late stages of the disease.
In its early stages, ovarian cancer is often a silent condition producing few, if any, noticeable signs and symptoms. As a tumor grows in an ovary, it may exert pressure on your bowel, bladder and other organs in your abdominal cavity, causing vague symptoms that are easily confused with those of other conditions. Many symptoms can be indications of other less serious conditions, but if they persist they may indicate ovarian cancer. Consult your doctor if you experience any or all of the following signs and symptoms: *Abdominal Swelling
*Abdominal Pain
*Indigestion, gas or nausea
*A feeling of pressure in your pelvis
*Frequent urination
*Unexplained weight loss or gain
*A feeling of fullness, even after a light meal
*Abnormal bleeding from your vagina
*Dyspareunia – painful intercourse
Ovarian Cancer is the fifth most common cancer in women. It’s diagnosed in about 23,000 women in the United States each year, and almost 14,000 women die of the disease annually. MOCA (Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance) has a Silent No More fundraiser on September 17th, if you would like more information or would like to make a donation go to www.mnovarian.org. MOCA is recognized by American Cancer Society and is a 501(c)3 organization and all donations are tax deductible. Please help find a cure. Again ovarian cancer affects 1 in 55 women. Unfortunately, 75% to 80% are diagnosed in advanced stages greatly limiting life expectancy. This statistic has not changed in 20 years. This statistic can be changed through education and information to women and physicians about the risks and subtle symptoms of ovarian cancer.
I am thankful to all the newspapers for publishing this information. I know God is with us and continues to see us through whatever lies ahead. That He will continue to give me ways to use this experience for His Glory. I pray you do not have to walk this path but if you find yourself on this road know you are not alone.

jamilou's picture
Posts: 201
Joined: Mar 2005

Thanks for the reminder! I will write a letter today. Lets see how many letters we can get published.

Posts: 650
Joined: Mar 2003

Thanks for lighting a fire under us. Our support group had plans for publishing the symptoms in the paper, but I don't know what the status of that project is. I'll call and see what is in the works, and if I can do anything to speed it along.

Our support group lost a member on Sept. 9th. A lovely lady, she had been diagnosed in 1999 with Stage 4 OVCA, and was able to stay here this long to inspire our group with her positive attitude and strength. Her death is a reminder of how important symptom knowledge is for diagnosing OVCA.

This is also a good time to rally support for "Johanna's Law", which is in front of Congress for support of gynecologic cancer research programs and education. You can go to this site: http://congress.nw.dc.us/sgo/home/ to email your members in Congress to lobby them yourself! You help pay their wages, so let them know what you want!

Posts: 650
Joined: Mar 2003

A note about the letters the link I put in my posting will take you to: They arewritten in the perspective of a gynecologic oncologist, so you may want to read them through and insert "ovarian cancer survivor" in the appropriate spots, and be sure to put your name on them in the appropriate spots.

If your representatives and senators are on the ball, they'll send you a letter to let you know they're thinking about what you requested of them.

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