Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month: T.E.A.L. Walk in Brooklyn

September marks Ovarian Cancer Research Month and in order to commemorate a cause that is now near-and-dear to my heart, I participated in the third annual T.E.A.L. Walk in Brooklyn. The weather could not have been better and the community of women that came together was inspirational. My friend who is now one-month cancer free broke down some of the facts for us that I want to share to help raise awareness for ovarian cancer.

She spoke with a number of people about how breast cancer seems to dominate the women’s cancer world. Awareness for breast cancer is everywhere and women are reacting by learning how to feel for lumps and by getting yearly mammograms to get screened, which is obviously great news. Unfortunately, the situation isn’t the same for ovarian cancer as us women don’t have a screening system. We can’t rub our abdomens to do at home tests. Ovarian cancer is silent and often sneaks up on women. By the time it’s discovered, it’s too late to treat. In fact, only 1 in 3 women diagnosed have a chance of survival.

Fortunately, Dr. Oz did a segment on educating women on ovarian cancer and helping us to recognize the symptoms. The word is getting out there. My friend was detected in stage 2 and her survival is truly a blessing. It’s almost our duty now to educate others to become more aware of this lesser known cancer and to help it become as main stream and talked about as breast cancer. Our hope is that soon the teal ribbon will become as prominent and recognizable as the pink ribbon has become in our society.

If you’re interested in watching the Dr. Oz videos, you can find them here: http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/new-clues-ovarian-cancer-pt-1

According to Mayo Clinic, symptoms of ovarian cancer include:

  • Abdominal pressure, fullness, swelling or bloating
  • Pelvic discomfort or pain
  • Persistent indigestion, gas or nausea
  • Changes in bowel habits, such as constipation
  • Changes in bladder habits, including a frequent need to urinate
  • Loss of appetite or quickly feeling full
  • Increased abdominal girth or clothes fitting tighter around your waist
  • A persistent lack of energy
  • Low back pain

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