Friday, September 2, 2016

#30DaysofTeal Know The 4 Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer

Today is an exciting day because it's Wear Teal Day, and we're raising a lot of awareness for ovarian cancer. Yesterday, President Obama officially proclaimed that September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. President Obama's mother actually died from ovarian cancer. At Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance we're celebrating #30DaysofTeal, a social media campaign where we amplify our message on the power of our community. 

Many of my friends are concerned with health, diet, fitness, and disease prevention, but know little to nothing about ovarian cancer. They are often under the impression that ovarian cancer only effects older women, or that their annual pap smear will alert them to the disease. Both are very untrue. Ovarian cancer does effect young women and every year at our National Conference in Washington DC, I meet young women from all over the country, in their teens, twenties and so on who are battling the disease. There is also no diagnostic test for ovarian cancer, and your annual pap smear, while important, is not connected to diagnosing ovarian cancer.

Ovarian cancer is difficult to detect because the symptoms are often vague. I like to help women feel empowered by learning and remembering the symptoms, which are bloating, pelvic and abdominal pain, difficulty eating or feeling full quickly, or urinary symptoms like frequency and urgency. Consult your doctor if you have these symptoms consistently for more than two weeks, and they are unusual for you. I also encourage my friends to identify any potential risk factors they may have in their family, like a mother, aunt or grandmother with ovarian or breast cancer. 

Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecologic cancers in the United States and is the fifth leading cause of cancer death among American women. At OCRFA, we have invested nearly $70 million into the most innovative and promising ovarian cancer research and relate programs.  Every new grant we award brings us one step closer to defeating this disease. I urge you to learn the symptoms and share them with one of your friends today!

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Alison Stautberg is a Board Director of Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance, the largest global advocate for women with ovarian cancer. She has served on the board for six years and founded and directed the Junior Committee for Ovarian Cancer National Alliance. Alison is passionate about empowering women, by educating them on the symptoms of ovarian cancer. 

Alison started her career at Deutsche Bank, managed a number of major family foundations and worked for several hedge funds and the Episcopal Church, all in New York City. She holds a BA from The George Washington University and an MPA from New York University. 

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Well, I hope y'all learned something about this cancer from my dear friend, Alison's guest blog post, and feel empowered to share your knowledge. Until five years ago, when I joined the Ovarian Cancer Junior Committee (OCNA), I barely knew anything about the disease. Now that I do, I remain shocked that the symptoms could easily be misdiagnosed as something much less harmful, like period cramps, for instance.  

Also, I have been saddened to learn of several people who have died from ovarian cancer, especially young women in their twenties and thirties, whom I would have incorrectly assumed too young to get it. Knowledge IS power. Please consider using your power online with the hashtag(s) #NationalWearTealDay and/or #30DaysofTeal.

#FuckCancer AND #CancerSucks BUT we CAN choose to
EMPOWER each other with 

Blissfully Yours,

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