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September is Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month

Double Whammy's picture
Double Whammy
Posts: 2791
Joined: Jun 2010

But you probably already knew that.  I just hope the rest of the world gets the message.  Note that this year they are focusing on uterine cancer.  And I just saw an ad on CNN!

From the Foundation for Women's Cancers:
"It's been more than a decade since the Foundation for Women's Cancer declared September as Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month (GCAM). Since its inception, thousands of GCAM events have been held around the country to encourage knowledge and nurture hope for women diagnosed with a below-the-belt cancer. With more available data about risk factors, symptoms and early detection options, the Foundation wishes to reach all women with valuable information about gynecologic health. This September we hope to educate women about uterine cancer with a particular emphasis on the warning signs for post-menopausal women. To learn how you can help educate yourself and spread the word, view this year's GCAM Toolkit. "

jazzy1's picture
Posts: 1385
Joined: Mar 2010

Now we need to become as large and out there as BREAST CANCER!!!  We can do this, can't we?

I'm ready to start shouting and asking for donations.... anyone else?




NoTimeForCancer's picture
Posts: 1868
Joined: Mar 2013

I emailed our Director of Corp Comm and asked him to do a piece on September being Gynecological Cancer Awareness month!  (We talk about breast and suicide CERTAINLY we can talk about below the belt cancer!)

I sent him the link.  He is a friend and knew everything I was going through, in fact he took the picture of me with a group of bald men. 

For those of us that work, ask your internal communications to bring this topic forward!  None of US are embarrassed!

NoTimeForCancer's picture
Posts: 1868
Joined: Mar 2013

I have a team and I would love to see some of you at this event.  Is anyone going?  If you would like to support my team that is as good as going!  I believe if you would like to JOIN MY TEAM (and sleep in) you can get the t-shirt and a pair of Knock-out panties! 





txtrisha55's picture
Posts: 617
Joined: Apr 2011

Where is the link to your team to join...I will join but would not be able to show up unless it is the Metroplex area of Dallas, Texas but will support your team.  Let me now.  Thanks and prayer to all.  trish

NoTimeForCancer's picture
Posts: 1868
Joined: Mar 2013

Miss Trisha,

I sent you an email through the CSN message system.  The walk is in Washington, DC but you can join my team and get a t-shirt (we don't have enough of those!) and a pair of Knock-out panties (woo-hoo!) if you joing before October 15 (I think that is the date).  They can send it to you for $5. 

Whatever support is appreciated.  We are a PEACH TEAM!!  I will PROUDLY walk for all you ladies.

Anyone, please feel free to PM me and I will reply.

NoTimeForCancer's picture
Posts: 1868
Joined: Mar 2013

Living With Cancer: A Rainbow Coalition


Everyone recognizes the pink ribbon of breast cancer, but fewer know the color of testicular (orchid), uterine (peach), lung (white), pancreatic (purple), or head and neck (burgundy/ivory) cancers. Given current research and treatment, as well as a commitment to equity, is it time to imagine a rainbow coalition?

Breast cancer activists have brilliantly organized to heighten public awareness of a disease that threatens too many women. Support groups, regional conferences, runs, T-shirts, memoirs and photographs raise money for research and help individual women confront a dire diagnosis.

In a post on the Foundation for Women’s Cancer Web site, writer Tranette Ledford worries that she has “the wrong color of cancer.” More than 90,000 American women are diagnosed annually with “below the belt” cancers, but they do not get the attention, information and care they need.

“When we look at cancer through rose colored glasses, we save thousands of lives,” Ms. Ledford wrote. “We might save thousands more if we look through a stained glass window swirling with all the colors representing women’s cancer.”

Even though TV ads tell us about erectile dysfunction and prostate cancer (light blue), are we leery of publicly discussing “lady parts”? I take this to be a serious question about the debilitating silence surrounding gynecological cancers.

I wonder as well about colorectal cancers (dark blue) that afflict men as well as women. Any disease involving excremental matters seems to remain unspeakable for the most part. It is difficult to ascertain the color of anal cancer, but I believe it is purple/green. Also marginalized in representation and debate are men and women dealing with cancers that afflict smaller populations — like multiple myeloma (burgundy), carcinoid cancer (zebra) or thyroid cancer (teal/pink/blue).

American history has taught us that separate is not equal.

In the midst of these competing claims for attention and support, cancer research is undergoing a paradigm shift. We are informed that there are several quite distinct types of, say, breast cancer that must be treated differently. Just as important, a single genetic mutation can cause cancers originating in different body parts.

Today a number of drugs work on multiple cancers. Gleevec has been used on leukemia (orange), but also on gastrointestinal stromal tumors (periwinkle). Avastin is effective for certain colorectal, nonsmall cell lung, brain (gray), ovarian (teal) and kidney cancers (also orange—there are only so many colors to go round). Doctors can now prolong lives by prescribing Abraxane for breast, lung and pancreatic malignancies.

Perhaps the organ of origin is less important than other factors. In this context, the balkanization of cancer identity politics seems absurd. Why should people with melanoma (black) contend against people with liver cancer (emerald green) over limited resources? Instead of haggling over a meager slice of the pie, the breast surgeon and author Dr. Susan Love has argued, we should demand a bigger pie.

Wouldn’t we have more clout banding together not only to support research into prevention, detection and cure but also to counter the exorbitant expense of treatment? The price of some of the newer drugs is sky high. Gleevec can cost $100,000 a year, Avastin $100,000 a year, Abraxane $96,000 a year.

The issue of the colors of cancer was raised by Ms. Ledford to broadcast the fact that September is National Gynecological Cancer Awareness Month (which is sometimes called National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month). There is cause for celebration among this constituency because a new study in the journal Cancer suggests that the biomarker CA125, when used over time to monitor change, may finally provide a much needed detection tool for ovarian cancer. Currently 75 percent of those with diagnoses deal with late-stage disease and miserable mortality statistics, as I do.

On the first day of National Gynecological Cancer Awareness Month I discovered that the experimental drug extending my life has been so successful that it will be moved from a Phase 1 to a Phase 3 clinical trial. Unlike the Phase 1 trial, which studied the drug in various cancers, the Phase 3 trial will be open only to breast cancer patients. I very much hope it will help the women enlisted, but what about those excluded?

Maybe cancer research and fundraising can’t function without organ-related identifications. Pharmaceutical companies are drawn to large markets. Money is often donated by people honoring a beloved friend or relative felled by a particular form of cancer.

Important as the ribbons are, however, can their use inadvertently set advocates against one another? Without relinquishing the colors, what would it mean to support people dealing with every type of cancer? In the 21st century, children and adults with cancer are unfortunately legion.

We may have something to gain from dreaming a dream that really can come true of banding together under a symbol adopted by a number of social justice movements: the spectrum of a rainbow coalition. I would like to wear that sort of bracelet, though I have never seen one in the hospital gift shop.

This idea comes to me during National Gynecological or Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. The ovaries are where we all come from.




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