Written by Amy Stadem, Program Chair: Medical Assistant, Medical Administrative Assistant, and Health Care Management
September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Students and staff at MSB Richfield raised awareness and money for the Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance (MOCA) throughout the month by participating in MOCA’s Silent No More walk on September 8th, wearing teal ribbons, teal clothing, and by having faculty and staff pay $5 to wear jeans September 24th – 28th.
Raising awareness for ovarian cancer is incredibly important to women everywhere. It is the fifth leading cause of cancer-related death among women and is the deadliest of gynecologic cancers. Because symptoms are often ambiguous, many women ignore them, allowing cancer to spread undetected. Symptoms include bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, difficulty eating or feeling full quickly, and urinary symptoms such as urgency and frequency. If you have these symptoms almost daily for three weeks, it is time to take action. Other symptoms that are less helpful in diagnosing ovarian cancer include fatigue, indigestion, back pain, constipation, irregular periods and pain with intercourse (Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance, 2012).
Several factors such as family history and lifestyle choices can increase a woman’s chance of developing ovarian cancer. There is currently no way to prevent ovarian cancer but tests to detect it are constantly improving. If you are concerned about your risk for ovarian cancer, speak with your phsyician.
Help continue bringing awareness to ovarian cancer throughout the year. Talk to women about signs and symptoms and make sure to see your physician for an annual check up. If you are interested in helping others learn more or in raising funds for the cause, please visit the Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance’s website at http://mnovarian.org/.
Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance. (2012). Understanding Ovarian Cancer. Retrieved from Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance: http://mnovarian.org/about-ovarian-cancer/understanding-ovarian-cancer/