Today the world unites to support ovarian cancer awareness. My last memory of the world uniting revolves around the Olympic games with its parade of trained competitors proudly waving colorful flags representing their respective nations. I sat in front of the television with my eyes glued to its screen, cheering my favorite athletes on to victory. But today we are not celebrating these athletic conquests.
Today is World Ovarian Cancer Day, a day to raise awareness about this disease. Today, around the world we raise a teal flag. Teal—the color designated to represent ovarian cancer. We are not athletes specially trained to endure its rigors, but the event, not of our own choosing, sometimes feels like a marathon with no finish line in sight. We do not compete for a medal. But we fight for the prize—our lives.
Today we raise awareness about ovarian cancer. At present there are no reliable screening tests. Just the fact that we are women places us at risk. Early diagnosis greatly improves the chances of a woman’s survival, but the vague symptoms often mimic gastrointestinal disorders that can be ignored or misdiagnosed. Many women are often diagnosed in the latter stages—therefore ovarian cancer has been identified as the women’s cancer with the lowest survival rate.
The most common symptoms of ovarian cancer include:
- Persistent bloating with an increase in the size of the abdomen
- Pelvic or abdominal pain
- Feeling full quickly after eating
- Urinary urgency or frequency
Today let us unite around the world and wave our teal ribbons and flags, cheering our sisters on to victory and raising awareness about ovarian cancer and its symptoms.
Today is World Ovarian Cancer Day.