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Don’t Stop at Pink - Build Awareness for Ovarian Cancer

By Michelle King Robson Expert HERWriter
 
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This question may seem strange, but I promise I’m asking it for a good reason. What color is the awareness ribbon for ovarian cancer? I’ll bet most people don’t know the answer. But ovarian cancer ranks fifth for cancer deaths in women and it kills more women than any other cancer of the reproductive system.

Know which cancer is #1 for women? It’s not breast cancer. It’s lung cancer!

So why does breast cancer get so much hype while others don’t have half the recognition they deserve? That’s the question I’ve been asking myself lately.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m thrilled there is so much awareness about breast cancer and early detection. I just want the same awareness for women’s cancers like ovarian cancer.

I’ve known lots of women who had ovarian cancer. One in particular stands out. I’ll call her Beth. Beth was in her early 60s and seemed perfectly healthy. So she was devastated by a surprise diagnosis of ovarian cancer. The doctors said her prognosis was not good.

Beth went ahead and got treatment and seemed to be doing well – her cancer was gone. But it came back with a vengeance and the hospital told her there were no other options. No options! That can’t be right!

Beth’s family didn’t believe it either and started looking for alternatives. She ended up participating in a clinical trial so her experience can help other women, even if she can’t find a cure.

That brings me to a key point. Find a specialist. You wouldn’t go to a skin doctor to treat a kidney problem. So don’t expect your family doctor to cure your cancer. If you have a type of cancer that is specific to women, like ovarian cancer, go to a cancer doctor who specializes in women’s cancers.

And don’t delay. You don’t want to rush into a decision too quickly. But you are playing with your own life if you ignore your symptoms and don’t look for immediate treatment.

Ovarian cancer is one of the tough ones. It’s hard to detect. And once your symptoms get bad enough to notice, the cancer may have moved out of the ovaries into the abdomen where it can be really hard to treat.

Add a Comment2 Comments

theexpertinstitute Blogger

Wonderful point, Michelle - "no options" should never mean "no options!" I choose to believe that there will always be someone out there who will provide some kind of help. And being able to help others, even if not yourself, is a positive and energetic way of seeing a problem. Thank you for sharing!

November 13, 2013 - 8:14am
Pat Elliott

Michelle - Thanks for helping make more women aware that they should not stop at pink and for sharing the importance of gaining awareness about ovarian cancer. There are however, many other cancers that impact women. Beyond awareness there is a real need for women to support other women with ANY type of cancer. Those who run health businesses, nonprofits, community fairs and other endeavors for women often also stop at pink and exclude women with other cancers. If having cancer causes hair loss or financial hardship or other concerns for a a woman with leukemia or lymphoma or ovarian cancer or colon cancer it is no less of a hardship than it is for a woman with breast cancer, but it is much harder for women with other cancers to find the support they need and deserve. Let's find a way to improve things so that no woman is left behind.

September 19, 2013 - 6:48pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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