Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month is an annual month-long campaign in which Ovarian Cancer Australia invites all Australians to help raise awareness of the symptoms, risks and impacts of ovarian cancer, as well as raise vital funds for support, awareness, advocacy and research.
Many people are not aware that ovarian cancer has the lowest survival rate of any women’s cancer and there has been very little improvement in survival in the past 20 years.
Each year 1,400 Australian women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and around 1,000 will die from the disease.
Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month will launch on Friday, January 31st, when Old Parliament House in Canberra will be lit up in teal, the international colour of ovarian cancer.
Ovarian Cancer Australia’s major fundraising initiative is Afternoon Teal®, which encourages Australians to host a fundraising event for their friends, family or colleagues. Events range from a work bake-off, to an afternoon picnic, to a traditional high tea, or any other event.
Last year, 440 Afternoon Teals® were held. This year, the aim is to reach 500 and raise $500,000. Registrations are open at www.ovariancancer.net.au
Australians can also show their support by purchasing a teal ribbon and wearing it on Teal Ribbon Day, Wednesday 26th February – the day of Federal Parliament’s Teal Ribbon Day breakfast event
Teal Ribbons can be purchased for $2 each from Chemmart® Pharmacy, My Size and Plush stores nationwide; Brazilian Butterfly salons in ACT, Queensland, Victoria and WA; Noel Jones offices in Victoria, and from www.ovariancancer.net.au.
Colour for a Cause teal nail polish packs are available at Chemmart® Pharmacies nationally, with proceeds going to Ovarian Cancer Australia.
There is no early detection test for ovarian cancer so it is important that every woman knows the symptoms.
The four main symptoms are: abdominal or pelvic pain, increased abdominal size or persistent abdominal bloating, the need to urinate often or urgently, or feeling full after eating a small amount.
If these symptoms are new for women and they experience one or more of them persistently over a four-week period, they should consult their GP.
Tassist women in tracking these symptoms, Ovarian Cancer Australia has developed the ‘K.I.S.S. & Make Up’® iPhone app which records the symptoms over a four-week period and generates a report to help inform their GP. The app is available for free from iTunes
If diagnosed early, the majority of women can survive. Unfortunately, the majority of women are diagnosed with advanced stages of the disease
In Australia, the overall five year survival rate for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer is 43%. In comparison, the overall five year survival rate for women diagnosed with breast cancer is 89%.
Ovarian Cancer Australia’s vision is to save lives and ensure that no woman with ovarian cancer walks alone. The activities that take place throughout Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month are paramount to the cause.
Ovarian Cancer Australia is a not-for-profit organisation founded in 2001 by people who had been affected by ovarian cancer, either themselves or through someone they loved. It provides support for women and their families, raises community awareness of ovarian cancer, advocates for improved services for women and promotes and funds world class ovarian cancer research to help save lives and ensure no woman with ovarian cancer walks alone.