If Only I Knew – September Is Gynecologic Cancer Month

September 17, 2015
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Ten years ago I didn’t know very much about the color teal or ovarian cancer. I did go for an annual Pap Test but that was the extent of my knowledge of gynecologic cancers. Since my sister had been diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 42, I knew much more about pink and breast cancer.

Ten years ago I didn’t know very much about the color teal or ovarian cancer. I did go for an annual Pap Test but that was the extent of my knowledge of gynecologic cancers. Since my sister had been diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 42, I knew much more about pink and breast cancer.

Then I was diagnosed with stage III ovarian cancer. At first I was just too busy getting well to even think about the fact that I could do something about being clueless about gynecologic cancers. But I finished chemotherapy, my hair grew in and I felt better. In 2006 the consensus statement on ovarian cancer symptoms was published. Later that year when my gynecologic oncologist suggested I contact a local ovarian cancer foundation and get involved in raising awareness, I was finally ready. That September was the first time I told my story. I talked about the symptoms of ovarian cancer with other women and handed out symptom cards. It was also in September of that year that I joined with another family from my town to hang teal ribbons on trees to raise awareness of ovarian cancer.

Awareness of gynecologic cancers and ovarian cancer in particular has increased in the past 10 years but we have more work to do. There are still women, family members and health care providers who need to be educated about the symptoms of gynecologic cancers, HPV, risk factors, and the need for research to better understand the diseases and to find cures. Awareness efforts reach their peak every September during Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month (GCAM) . If you want to help raise awareness you can wear teal, paint your toes teal, hang ribbons, participate in walk/runs or chats and share symptoms via social media or the handy symptom cards offered by several awareness organizations. These are just a few of the ways you can get involved and spread the knowledge which all women need to know about gynecologic cancers.

Here are some online resources for GCAM that #gyncsm would like to share with you.

Gynecologic Cancer: 

#gyncsm Chat – September 9, 2015 at 9pm EST Topic: Gyn Cancer Awareness Month with a Spotlight on Uterine/Endometrial Cancer (gyncsm.blogspot.com)

Globethon to End Women’s Cancer – worldwide events http://globeathon.com/events/

GynCan- Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Network – http://www.gyncan.com/

Blogger/Social Media Challenge and Walk/Run 100 Miles in September

Foundation for Women’s Cancer  http://www.foundationforwomenscancer.org/, Awareness Month Role of Hereditary Cancer Fact Sheet: http://www.foundationforwomenscancer.org/wp-content/uploads/GCAM-2015-Fact-Sheet5.pdf

Ovarian Cancer: 

Ovarian Cancer National Alliance (OCNA) http://www.ovariancancer.org/

#30Days of Teal

Check their Partner Member Page links to partner member websites and events.

National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (NOCC) – http://www.ovarian.org/ Check their website for local walks http://ovarian.org/upcoming_walks.php

Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF) http://www.ocrf.org/

Upcoming event can be found here.  http://www.ocrf.org/news/events

Wear Teal Day is Friday, September 4, 2015. 

We would love to hear about the awareness activities you will be participating in during September. Please tell us in the comment section of this page or share it with us (@gyncsm) on twitter.

Dee

This post is written by Dee Sparacio, Ovarian Cancer survivor and #gyncsm Co-Founder. It first appeared on the #gyncsm blog on August 26, 2015.