As the summer gives way to fall and vacations end with the toll of the school bell, the shift into cooler weather makes us think about the rest of the year, what we want to accomplish, and how we can continue to take care of ourselves after the cold sets in. September is also Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. This year, instead of watching it slip by, Closing the Gap encourages you to support cancer awareness and research. Here are some ways you can get involved:
Learn About Ovarian Cancer
Ovarian cancer is a malignant tumour in a woman’s ovaries that can spread to other parts of the body. This form of cancer is divided into tumour categories: epithelial, stromal, and germ cell. The fourth kind of tumour, a primary peritoneal carcinoma, is extremely rare and aggressive. Epithelial is the most common form of ovarian cancer, affecting 85%–90% of patients. There are many risk factors that increase your chances of developing ovarian cancer, including:
- Family history of ovarian cancer
- History of breast cancer
- Lynch Syndrome
For more information about ovarian cancer risk factors, visit the Canadian Cancer Society website.
Get a Cancer Screening
Signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer include:
- Vaginal bleeding
- Intense/frequent need to urinate
- A bump in the pelvic area
- Constipation, digestive issues
- Pressure and soreness in the pelvis, lower back, legs, abdomen
- Painful intercourse
Unfortunately, there are no early signs of ovarian cancer. These signs and symptoms appear only after the tumour has grown around the surrounding organs. If ovarian cancer runs high in your family, getting tested early will significantly increase your chances of detection. The earlier the treatment, the more successful it will be.
If you want to support Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, there are plenty of ways to get involved this September. Whether you or someone you know has been affected by ovarian cancer, you know how much research, money, and brainpower is still needed to end this horrible disease. Ovarian Cancer Canada lists many ways that you can get involved with their organization, such as:
We are still a long way from finding a cure for ovarian cancer. Every day, women all over the country are being diagnosed or are losing their lives to this disease. Your one-time or monthly donation will support patients and their families and help expand research.
Check your local branch for ways to get involved. There are cancer awareness marathons happening all over the country. This year, the Ovarian Cancer Walk of Hope takes place on September 10th (or September 2nd in Ottawa, Ajax, Yarmouth, and Charlottetown). Join a team, start a team, or donate to a team. Want to volunteer on a more permanent basis? There are plenty of ways to give your time to help community ovarian cancer research organizations, whether it’s helping out at fundraisers, performing administrative tasks, or preparing information kits. Check your local listings for ongoing opportunities or take a look at the Ovarian Cancer Canada website.
This September, support the various organizations that are doing their best to eliminate ovarian cancer. Your support and interest in the cause will help bring the world closer to finding a cure.