Portland, September 28th, 2013.  Local health advocates swathed in teal are raising awareness about the symptoms of ovarian cancer (read those symptoms below!) September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and supporters marked it with several colorful gatherings, like the September 6th taping of AM Northwest.  The Ovarian Cancer Alliance of Oregon and SW Washington joined thousands across the country wearing teal in support of ovarian cancer awareness; the Morrison Bridge was also illuminated with teal lights on the 19th.

“Ovarian cancer awareness supporters attend the City of Portland City Council meeting on September 18 to hear Mayor Hales read a city-wide proclamation naming September “Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month” in the City of Portland.”

Ovarian cancer awareness supporters attend the City of Portland City Council meeting on September 18 to hear Mayor Hales read a city-wide proclamation naming September “Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month” in the City of Portland.

“Diane O’Connor and Diane Elizondo, the co-founders of the Ovarian Cancer Alliance of Oregon and SW Washington applaud a sold-out crowd at “O-Vary Funny! A Stand-up Benefit for Ovarian Cancer” on Sept. 19th

Diane O’Connor and Diane Elizondo, the co-founders of the Ovarian Cancer Alliance of Oregon and SW Washington applaud a sold-out crowd at “O-Vary Funny! A Stand-up Benefit for Ovarian Cancer” on Sept. 19th

Health advocated report, “Symptoms of ovarian cancer may include bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, difficulty eating or feeling full quickly, and urinary urgency or frequency. If these symptoms persist almost daily for two weeks, experts suggest a combination pelvic/rectal exam, CA 125 blood test and a transvaginal ultrasound.” Ovarian cancer is the 5th leading cause of cancer-related deaths among women, and is the deadliest of all the gynecologic cancers. According to the American Cancer Society, in 2013 more than 22,000 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and more than 14,000 will die from it.   

There is no diagnostic or screening test to detect ovarian cancer. As a result, many women are diagnosed in late stages. Knowing the symptoms is essential to ensuring an early diagnosis and achieving best-chance odds of survival. 

The Ovarian Cancer Alliance of Oregon and SW Washington is a partner member of the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, the foremost advocate for women with ovarian cancer in the United States. OCAOSW is a 501(c)(3) organization.

Editor’s note: I’m a very fortunate survivor of ovarian cancer and applaud the efforts of The Ovarian Cancer Alliance of Oregon and SW Washington to raise awareness about this very serious form of cancer.  

Elisa Klein

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