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.