February is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Ovarian Cancer seems to be one of those cancers that not many people know about or talk about. In Australia, one in 77 women will develop Ovarian Cancer in their lifetime. Every year more than 1200 Australian women are diagnosed and around 800 will die from the disease. On average 3 Australian women are diagnosed every day. Of the women diagnosed 77% are diagnosed at an advanced stage where the cancer has spread and can be difficult to treat successfully. More than half these women will not live beyond five years after their diagnosis. Frightening statistics! BUT if ovarian cancer is diagnosed at an early stage women have an 80% chance of being alive and well after 5 years. Unfortunately there currently is no reliable early detection test or screening for ovarian cancer. Pap smears do not detect ovarian cancer.
This is where Ovarian Cancer Australia can help. Ovarian Cancer Australia are the peak organisation for ovarian cancer in Australia and are the only national organisation in Australia dedicated to raising awareness of the disease, giving support to women (& their families) who are affected and funding the best ovarian cancer research.
- The mission of Ovarian Cancer Australia is to:
- * Support women with ovarian cancer, their families, friends and carers with compassionate support programs and practical resources.
* Educate communities and individuals about the disease and increase their awareness of symptoms and the latest treatment, research and clinical trials from across Australia.
* Advocate to improve outcomes, treatment and quality of life for women with ovarian cancer.
* Fund innovative and world leading ovarian cancer research.
So what are the symptoms of ovarian cancer?
There are four most commonly reported symptoms
* abdominal or pelvic pain
* increased abdominal size or persistent abdominal bloating
* needing to urinate often or urgently
* difficulty eating or feeling full quickly
Let your doctor know if you have any other symptoms, that are not usual for you, that can include:
* changes in bowel habits
* unexplained weight gain or loss
* vaginal bleeding
* back pain
* indigestion or nausea
Most women with these symptoms will not have ovarian cancer. If you are concerned, see your doctor
How can we help? Hold an Afternoon Teal during February, Individual donations (enabling you to make a donation of a specific amount to a project of your choice, Regular giving (through a monthly direct debit enables you to provide ongoing sponsorship of Ovarian Cancer Australia’s work), Payroll giving (a great way to get you and your workplace involved in regular giving and provides a wide range of benefits for everyone involved), In honour and celebration donations (allowing you to provide a tribute to a woman living with ovarian cancer or can be made in memory of someone special. Celebration donations make a meaningful birthday, anniversary or Christmas gift) or Remembering Ovarian Cancer Australia in your will.
If you’d like to donate, my mum is holding an Afternoon Teal and has given me the link to her donation page. Let’s see how much we can raise to help support this great cause!
ETA – we raised $1000 on Saturday at our Afternoon Teal. An amazing day & thanks to those who donated!
For more information on Ovarian Cancer Australia or to hold your own Morning Teal, go to www.ovariancancer.net.au/