Thursday, May 7, 2015

BEATing Ovarian Cancer: World Ovarian Cancer Day, May 8

My mom Barb and cousin Heather, 2014

Tomorrow, May 8, is World Ovarian Cancer Day. Why is this important? Because the two pretty ladies you see here had no reason to suspect they had ovarian cancer – there was no family history, and their subtle symptoms were no cause for immediate alarm and they were both diligent in getting their annual checkups (which detected nothing abnormal). Yet, both were diagnosed with ovarian cancer very late in the game – Stage III. That is too late.
Tomorrow, World Ovarian Cancer Day is all about creating awareness for Ovarian Cancer symptoms as THERE IS NO EARLY DETECTION method for ovarian cancer. We have early detection screenings for cervical cancer (pap smear), or breast cancer (mammogram and self exam), but right now the only thing women have to rely on to catch Ovarian Cancer is their own self-awareness about what their body is doing and feeling. 
So take the time to be aware of the symptoms of ovarian cancer. Be ready to ask your general physician if they take into consideration the possibility of ovarian cancer the next time a woman comes in and complains about bloating, bowel issues, eating less but feeling fuller, etc. Yes, you can ask your doctor what they know and what their experience has been. That question alone may save your life and the lives of other women like my mom and cousin who have no family history of cancer. 
One of our local ovarian cancer foundations, the Norma Leah Foundation, has a great campaign that makes it really easy to commit the ovarian cancer symptoms to memory - it's called the BEAT campaign: 
  • Bloating that is persistent 
  • Eating less, feeling fuller
  • Abdominal and/or back pain
  • Trouble with your bladder or bowels
It's easy to remember B-E-A-T and they also offer cards that you can keep on your mirror. 

Also take the time to visit the World Ovarian Cancer Day web site at 

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