On March 31, 2011, I was diagnosed with stage 3c ovarian cancer. I was 35.
Ovarian cancer is nearly impossible to detect; many times the symptoms are not related to your cycle. Often times there are no symptoms at all until the cancer has advanced to a late stage. Ovarian cancer is not as widely publicized as other cancers, and is often called the silent killer. I started to post some statistics for you, but considering I am living out those numbers and they are less-than-encouraging, I’m just going to skip it. Mortality rate for those diagnosed with ovarian cancer has not improved in the last 30 years because it is diagnosed in late stages far too often.
Far too often as in 85% of the time.
Less than 50% of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer will survive 5 years. It ranks fifth as the cause of cancer deaths in women, and accounts for more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system. [WHY does it not get more attention and research??] Early detection is about the only thing that will save you. Click here
for a good list of symptoms and basic information.
September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and Teal Toes, a great organization dedicated to raising awareness of ovarian cancer, is encouraging us all to paint our toes teal. Encourage your friends to paint their toes teal and make sure all women know the symptoms of this deadly cancer.
Two things you can do at your annual appointment with your OB/GYN to avoid this diagnosis for yourself is: (1) ask for an ultrasound and (2) ask for the CA125 blood test. The ultrasound will detect any cysts/tumors. The CA125 blood test is the only test available to detect the presence of ovarian cancer. I had my annual OB/GYN visit a mere 5 months before being diagnosed. If I had known about the CA125 blood test, I could have been one of the 15% of ovarian cancer victims with a much better shot at being a survivor.
On a lighter note, I’ve got some teal nail polish recommendations for you:
1. I’m no Sari (OPI by Sephora) – my personal favorite
2. 293 Gorgeous (Sin Colors from Walgreens)
3. OPI Austintatious Turquoise – a little more blue than teal, but really pretty
4. Trophy Wife (Essie)
The Lilypad will have a random drawing and give away a gift certificate to one lucky scrapper who paints their toes, then links back to this blog post. Thank you, TLP
So today as I head to my oncologist’s office to try to kill this cancer, why don’t you paint your toes teal, and make a little note for yourself to ask for an ultrasound and CA125 blood test at your next annual exam.