When you think of September, what comes to mind? Changing of the seasons, warm sweaters, jeans, chunky knit scarves, Starbucks PSL, steaming hot stew? While all those things might be true there is also one thing many people don't know about September: it's Ovarian Cancer Awareness month.
Ovarian Cancer, represented by a teal ribbon, is a type of cancer that begins in the ovaries and is "a growth of abnormal malignant cells that begins in the ovaries- the women's reproductive glands" according to Ovarian Cancer National Alliance. One of the saddest aspects of Ovarian Cancer is that it often goes undetected, earning the nickname of the "silent killer". Why does this type of cancer have a terrifying rate of late detection or no detection? Women typically don't realize something is 'wrong' until it's spread, mostly because the symptoms are so common to women: bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, difficulty eating or feeling full quickly, and urinary symptoms. As a woman, these symptoms can be extremely common during certain times of the month, so it's so easy to let things slide by and go unnoticed.
The Ovarian Cancer National Alliance believes that symptoms, although common, are still extremely relevant, but they aren't a definitive diagnostic tool. Since there is not currently a diagnostic tool for ovarian cancer, one of the most important things is to KNOW YOUR BODY. You are your best advocate; you, more than anybody else in the whole world, know when you're just feeling a bit "off", when these symptoms happen more than normal.
Ovarian Cancer Awareness is something that is super close to my heart for many reasons, but one of those reasons is the incredible women I've met, survivors, warriors, battling soldiers who have or are still going through this awful disease. It's a beautiful thing to witness, the sisterhood that they have formed around such difficult circumstances. The women I have met, the families that have been affected, the stories I have heard are why I support Ovarian Cancer research and awareness.
September is a month to come together and stand up against this silent killer. September is a month to spread the word about Ovarian cancer. September is a month for women to understand their bodies, and more importantly listen to their bodies. September is 30 Days of Teal.
For more information, please visit Ovarian Cancer National Alliance webpage for more information. Also please check out Teal Diva for support & information and The National Ovarian Cancer Coalition webpage.
"Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits- who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion" Psalm 103:2-4