September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

TORONTO, Aug. 26, 2014 /CNW/ - Women everywhere are gearing up to paint the country teal this month. Designated for ovarian cancer awareness, September is a time to increase knowledge about a disease that has been overlooked and under diagnosed far too long. With no screening test and plenty of misconceptions surrounding ovarian cancer, greater awareness is extremely important.

Ovarian cancer is the most fatal women's cancer. Seventeen thousand women in Canada live with the disease and another 2,600 are diagnosed each year. Studies show that one in four women incorrectly believe the Pap test checks for ovarian cancer; however, it only detects changes related to cervical cancer. Also, many falsely assume that the HPV vaccine prevents ovarian cancer, when it does not.

A further challenge is that symptoms are easily mistaken for less serious conditions and they often go unnoticed, meaning diagnosis commonly occurs in late stages when the cancer has spread beyond the ovaries and five-year survival rates are dramatically reduced.

Greater knowledge about the disease is crucial.

"This September, we are appealing to Canadians to talk teal, share teal and wear teal," says Elisabeth Baugh, CEO of Ovarian Cancer Canada. "From presenting at information events to sharing content on social media to simply talking about the risk factors, signs and symptoms, there is tremendous potential to come together to increase awareness and most importantly, change outcomes."

Canadians everywhere are invited to participate by:

  • Wearing teal, the colour that represents ovarian cancer awareness internationally, on September 5;
  • Joining thousands of walkers in 45 cities across the country for the Ovarian Cancer Canada Walk of Hope. Taking place on September 7, it is the largest one-day event for the disease, raising funds for awareness, support and research initiatives;
  • Learning about the signs, symptoms and risk factors at ovariancanada.org and spreading knowledge to friends and family; and
  • Sharing the "Injustices of Ovarian Cancer" video on social media to ensure more people are made aware of the signs and symptoms of this devastating disease.

"We need to fire on all cylinders to boost awareness. For all our efforts, somewhere, someone will detect the disease at an early stage and that will make it all worth it," says Pat McDonald, a 12-year survivor who is championing the cause throughout her region. "Beyond that we need to raise funds for critical research into prevention, early detection, improved treatments and a cure. Much work is to be done and it's up to every one of us to do it, for women everywhere."

About Ovarian Cancer Canada

Ovarian Cancer Canada is the only national charity dedicated solely to fighting ovarian cancer. Our mission is to overcome ovarian cancer by providing support for women and their families living with the disease, raising awareness with the general public and with healthcare professionals, and funding research to develop early detection techniques, improved treatment and, ultimately, a cure.

ovariancanada.org

SOURCE Ovarian Cancer Canada

For further information: Janice Chan, Director of Communications, Ovarian Cancer Canada, (416) 962-2700 ext. 229, jchan@ovariancanada.org