Ovarian Cancer Month 2010

by subterfusex
A teal ribbon, which is an awareness ribbon fo...

Image via Wikipedia

September is Ovarian Cancer Month, represented by a teal ribbon.

Ovarian cancer is dangerous because it isn’t easy to recognize. It has been called a silent killer, because the symptoms are so vague, often mimicking more common problems. But there are symptoms that should be known:

  • Pressure or pain in the abdomen, pelvis, back, or legs
  • A swollen or bloated abdomen
  • Nausea, indigestion, gas, constipation, or diarrhea
  • Feeling very tired all the time

Most often these symptoms are not due to cancer, but only a doctor can tell for sure. Any woman with these symptoms should tell her doctor.

Less common symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling the need to urinate often
  • Unusual vaginal bleeding (heavy periods, or bleeding after menopause)

From the National Cancer Institute

The Ovarian Cancer National Alliance says:

Each year in the United States, more than 21,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer and about 15,000 women die of the disease. The American Cancer Society estimates that about 21,550 new cases of ovarian cancer will be diagnosed in the United States during 2009. 14,600 deaths are expected to be caused by ovarian cancer in the United States in 2009.

According to the data, the mortality rates for ovarian cancer have not improved in thirty years since the “War on Cancer” was declared. However, other cancers have shown a marked reduction in mortality, due to the availability of early detection tests and improved treatments. Unfortunately, this is not the case with ovarian cancer, which is still the deadliest of all gynecologic cancers.

The National Ovarian Cancer Coalition has a page of ways to spread awareness of this disease. Did you know that teal is also an acronym?

“Take Early Action & Live” – the TEAL Initiative. If ovarian cancer is diagnosed and treated early, when the cancer is confined to the ovary, the five year survival rate is over 90%. That is why awareness of early symptoms and education about the disease are so important. It is this simple, yet undeniably powerful truth that inspired the “Take Early Action & Live” initiative. The TEAL Initiative leverages the power and effectiveness of pass-along email to spread awareness at a grass roots level from one women to her circle of friends and family. The initiative has two objectives: the first is helping women become aware of the four most consistent symptoms of ovarian cancer. The second is let women know if they experience any of those symptoms on a daily basis for more then a few weeks, they should talk to their physician, preferrably a gynecologist, right away.

To begin your own pass-along email message to the women you care about, click here and we’ll get you started. The message you send out today, may save a life tomorrow.

So, take some time to think about all those girly bits you don’t see. They have enormous power over your health and your mood. Make sure you remain aware of the symptoms, and pass the word along.

5 Comments to “Ovarian Cancer Month 2010”

  1. I did not realize that September was ovarian cancer awareness month. I really have been putting off getting a pelvic exam. I’ve never had one and I will be 25 this year. Perhaps I will break down this month and get an exam. I wonder if we have any female gynecologists around town…YES…my town is so small I actually have to wonder about that. You see, many of these symptoms are quite normal for me, because I have a chronic issue (IBS) and I suppose that makes it more important for me to get checked. I might not realize when the symptoms stop being about IBS and begin being about ovarian cancer. I should’ve had my first pelvic exam long ago. I’m be quite irresponsible about my health for having put it off for so long. *sigh*

    • You know, when we were in high school they told us that you should get your first pelvic exam either at age 18, or when you became sexually active. At 18 I went to the doc, and was told that I didn’t need one–they’d just pushed the age back to 21. I was very miffed. There I was, doing exactly what I’d been told, and they were telling me to shove off!

      The better question is, does your health insurance extend to any female questions in your area?

      • I have Medicaid. I have no idea if it covers such things. I’d assume it does, but we know what assuming often gets us. :p

        I have not become sexually active. Or wait…does a vibrator count?? :p

      • I believe this sort of preventative health is covered under law. There will be SOMEONE in your area… just maybe not someone you want. 😉

        See, if sex ed extended to proper care for sex toys and props, you wouldn’t have to ask! 😉 Instead those of us with BOBs (Battery Operated Boyfriends) keep it to ourselves and wonder in silence if we’re doing everything right. Make sure it’s clean!

  2. Of course it’s clean, D! :p I take very good care of my toys! And, yeah, I know there are gynecologists here in town, I just don’t know if any of them are women. :p The couple I do know of are men. o.O;

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