(KPLR)- September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. The deadly disease can be treated if it's caught early. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 21,000 women will be diagnosed this year alone and 14,000 will die. All women are at risk.
Education is the best line of defense.
Sandy Tolliver is a 10 year survivor and she along with Nancy Larson, Board Member for SLOCA, and an oncology nurse, tell us what symptoms to look for.
Sandy is an African American woman who was misdiagnosed continually despite abdominal symptoms. Her cancer was discovered in 2004 when she was 34-years-old. Sandy immediately underwent surgery that was followed by chemo therapy.
Nancy is the nurse who helped Sandy through her ovarian cancer battle. She channeled her love for her patients into action by helping survivors to found St. Louis Ovarian Cancer Awareness in 2002. Nancy's passion for cancer patients and SLOCA has continued through the years and has extended to the Cancer Support Community where she teaches weekly country line dancing classes.
Ovarian cancer ranks fifth in cancer deaths among women, accounting for more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system. A woman's risk of getting ovarian cancer during her lifetime is about one in 73.
Her lifetime chance of dying from ovarian cancer is about one in 100.
This cancer mainly develops in older women. About half of the women who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer are 63 years or older. It is more common in white women than African-American women.
Symptoms: Watch for the signs
Pelvic or abdominal pain
Urinary urgency or frequency
Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly
Each year Ovarian Cancer Awareness Day is sponsored at Busch Stadium to raise the profile of the disease within Cardinal Nation.
In addition, SLOCA is involved, directly or indirectly, in several other events that raise money and awareness for ovarian cancer, including:
•Rise 'n Shine, Yoga for SLOCA event each year, in August or September.
•Trivia Night, a benefit put on by the nurses and techs who work on the Women's Health Unit at Mercy Hospital - St. Louis, is held each September.
•FamiliesROC, a 5K held each September in Forest Park.
For more information about Ovarian Cancer, please visit: sloca.org