National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month - Get Your T.E.A.L. On
Wear Teal in September for Ovarian Cancer Awareness
You may have noticed many people donning the color teal lately. Well its not your imagination. On August 29, 2012, by Presidential Proclamation, September was declared National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and in honor of the month people are asked to wear the color teal. T.E.A.L. is also the acronym Tell Every Amazing Lady.
What are you supposed to tell her?
You need to warn her that the pain in her abdomen she has been living with for a few weeks along with the nausea and backache may be the symptoms of ovarian cancer and she must go to her physician and demand to be examined for the cancer.
Why do we need another "special" month?
This cause it not just to create awareness of the disease or to raise money for research. Its chief goal is to literally take action and talk about this deadly disease and make everyone aware of the silent, but deadly symptoms that are overlooked by patients and their doctors. Many cancers are detected through annual screenings and self exams like breast cancer, but ovarian cancer is less demonstrative in its existence. Some say it whispers its symptoms. Unfortunately by the time it is detected it has spread to other parts of the body and the chances of beating it have decreased significantly. For so many woman who knew something was wrong but were not diagnosed early enough, the outcome is a pessimistic one. The truth is, if ovarian cancer is caught early enough it can be a fair fight, but chances are the symptoms are usually not noticed until it is too late.
Ovarian cancer is the deadliest of gynecological cancers partly because it is so difficult to detect in the early stages. If a woman you know has some of these potential signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer for longer than two weeks and you care about her you will encourage her to go to her doctor to be examined.
- Pelvic or abdominal pain
- Feeling full quickly after eating
- Trouble eating
- Feeling the urge to urinate urgently or often
- Upset stomach
- Back pain
- Pain during sex
- Constipation or menstrual changes
Because the ovaries are small and hidden within the body doctors have a difficult time diagnosing early stage ovarian cancer. As women we must be diligent and encourage our doctors to communicate with us and not pacify us with an alternative diagnosis when things just don't seem right.
So what are people doing this month to get the word out?
Across the country there are hundreds of events to break the silence about early detection and knowing all the symptoms of ovarian cancer.
These are just a few:
- Cancer Run/Walks are sponsered by various organizations.
- Husbands are encouraged to paint a toe teal for support.
- Malls and shopping centers are having screenings in parking lots and make-shift clinics.
- Auctions and fundraisers are being held at varous establishments.
What you should do right now.
Every woman needs to take control of her life and her own body. Women talk about how important our reproductive rights are to women-kind, but when it comes to the "real" choices about our bodies we look the other way and hope for the best. Cancer is not looking away and it will come at us both barrels blazing so you better be ready.
If it takes group or family intervention then so be it. Because the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer can be subtle, it is important to listen to your what your body is gtelling you and stop feeling like a hypochondriac.
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