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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Women are Ovar’coming this September

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It’s time for teal not pink. Don’t forget to wear a teal ribbon this September.

“Everyone knows pink,” says Robin Jackson, Executive Director of Ovar’coming Together. “Teal is our color but we need to not only get teal out there but the info behind it as well.”

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness month and Ovar’coming Together is ready to educate you about this silent killer.

Ovar’coming Together is a nonprofit ovarian cancer education and resource organization serving communities of Indiana through partnerships within the medical community and other cancer-oriented organizations.

Nancy Hines, 70, one of three co-founders of Ovar’coming said the organization was founded because there was no help for those who were diagnosed with ovarian cancer and wanted to educate others about this deadly cancer.

“I thought it was ridiculous for there not to be any help,” said Hines. “So we spent a lot of time talking about how we could get support for women like us.”

Ovar’coming Together was founded on three principals: education, awareness and support.

“Everyone is on a different journey with ovarian cancer,” says Jackson. “We provide support to women who are diagnosed.”

In the U.S. 22,000 women are diagnosed annually and 15, 000 die each year from ovarian cancer. Indiana has 600 new cases a year and 360 deaths each year of ovarian cancer.

Ovarian cancer occurs in one out of 72 women of all races and at any age. It is the deadliest of the gynecologic cancers because no one knows what causes it and the symptoms are often vague and easily confused with other illnesses.

Symptoms include bloating, abdominal pain, difficulty eating or feeling full, urinary urgency or unusual fatigue.

Most women think an annual Pap test screens for ovarian cancer but it doesn’t said Jackson.

“This is one cancer that does not have a definite test,” said Jackson.

Women have to have a pelvic/rectal exam, vaginal ultra-sound and a CA125 blood test in order to detect ovarian cancer.

According to Ovar’coming, if detected early 90 percent will survive. There are four stages in ovarian cancer, however a majority of women diagnosed are discovered in a later stage.

Another misconception about ovarian cancer is women at a young age can’t get it. This is false. Ovar’coming has had five new 22 year-olds diagnosed within the last year said Jackson.

“When the symptoms persist, don’t let the doctor say you are to young,” said Hines. “Women are dieing so know your body.”

Ovar’coming Together is trying to get the word out to women everywhere so they will know their body, know their symptoms and know how to act said Jackson.

Throughout the month there will be many activities, exciting family events and fundraisers planned including Indianapolis Indians ballgame activities, restaurant nights, turning the Indianapolis Downtown Canal TEAL, and theater.

Ovar’coming will also be hosting their 11th Annual Ovarian Cancer Run and Walk on Sept. 26. Funds raised will go to help survivor support, education and ovarian cancer research grants.

“This is our biggest annual fundraiser during Ovarian Cancer Awareness month,” said Hines. “It’s time to celebrate the survivors, those going through and remember those who have died.”

For more information call (317)-325-6643 or visit www.ovarian-cancer.org.

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