September marks Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, a national initiative aimed at raising awareness about this deadly disease. To kick off the month, September 1 has been designated as “Wear Teal Day” to encourage individuals to show their support by wearing teal attire. In Colorado, the impact of ovarian cancer is staggering, with approximately one woman being diagnosed every day, resulting in a total of 330 cases each year.
Recognizing the symptoms of ovarian cancer can be life-saving. Common symptoms include bloating, abdominal pain, decreased appetite, feeling fuller, and changes in urination or bowel habits. Early detection is crucial, as over 80% of ovarian cancer cases are diagnosed in the late stage, with a survival rate of just 44% beyond five years. However, if detected early, the survival rate jumps to an impressive 93%.
Ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cancer in females in the United States and the deadliest gynecologic cancer. Unlike cervical cancer, ovarian cancer cannot be detected through routine Pap tests, which underscores the importance of knowing the symptoms and seeking early diagnosis. It is crucial for women, especially those at a higher risk, to be proactive in recognizing potential signs of ovarian cancer and seeking medical attention promptly.
Several risk factors increase the likelihood of developing ovarian cancer. These include genetic factors, advancing age, never having given birth, and not using birth control. It is important for individuals to be aware of these risk factors and seek regular screenings or consultations with medical professionals if necessary.
To support those affected by ovarian cancer, the Colorado Ovarian Cancer Alliance (COCA) offers programs and resources. COCA is dedicated to providing support, education, and assistance to both patients and their loved ones. Individuals can find more information about COCA and their programs by visiting their website at Colo-OvarianCancer.org or following their social media pages.
On #COWearTealDay, individuals are encouraged to show their solidarity by wearing teal and raising awareness about ovarian cancer. By sparking conversations about symptoms and risk factors, we can empower more women to seek early diagnosis and ultimately save lives.
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