Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month: Northwest Florida Edition

The month of September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Northwest Florida groups and companies are showing their support through various fundraising and awareness efforts. We strongly believe that awareness leads to meaningful action. Before we get to our list of local ovarian cancer supporters, let’s first take some time to understand what it is and who it affects.

The Facts & Symptoms

  • According to the Massachusetts Ovarian Cancer Awareness Coalition, ovarian cancer is one of the most deadly of women’s cancers.
  • It is estimated by the World Health Organization IARC department that there are over 238,000 new cases diagnosed annually with nearly 152,000 deaths worldwide.
  • Ovarian cancer typically occurs in women in their 50s and 60s with the median age of 63.
  • Many women who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer have a genetic history that may include carrying the BRCA mutation gene or having a family history of ovarian cancer.

Ovarian cancer has always been thought of as a symptom-less disease. However, studies have shown that it is in fact not silent, although warning signs are subtle. Even during the early stages, 90% of women with ovarian cancer report symptoms. While ovarian cancer can be difficult to detect early, there are four symptoms that women should be on the lookout for:

  1. Significant bloating
  2. Pelvic and abdominal pain
  3. Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly
  4. Urinary symptoms such as feelings of frequency or urgency

The aforementioned facts and symptoms can be daunting. Especially, if you are a woman in her 60s with a daunting family history. Do what you can to protect yourself or your loved ones who could be vulnerable to this disease by being proactive. 

Be Proactive!

ProHealth offers the CA-125 test. A CA-125 test measures the amount of the protein CA-125 (cancer antigen 125) in your blood. It is found in greater concentration in cancer cells, particularly ovarian cancer cells and may show early signs of ovarian cancer in women. A doctor’s order is not required, and cost as low as $82 at any ProHealth location.

Another way to be proactive is to get involved. There are quite a few resources right here in Northwest Florida that you can tap into!

Krewe of Vixens

Krewe of Vixens, KOV, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing financial, emotional, and educational support services for individuals with ovarian cancer. They support women of all ages, in all stages of ovarian cancer, along with their caregivers, offering knowledge, encouragement and friendship.

With your support, KOV will help fund the best and most promising Ovarian Cancer research efforts while supporting women and their loved ones affected by the disease in our quest to end this terrible disease. For more information on events during Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and membership, click HERE!

Newk’s Eatery

Ovarian cancer hits close to home for the Newk’s family. Lori Newcomb, wife of co-founder and CEO Chris Newcomb, was diagnosed with Stage IIIC ovarian cancer in early 2013. Her story is all too familiar for many women, as one in 70 will develop this disease. 

This is why they started the Newk’s Cares initiative, inviting guests to join the search for a cure by adding a dollar or more to their purchases at the register. Their goal is to improve the rate of early diagnosis by funding research and creating greater awareness about the early symptoms of ovarian cancer. Everyone at Newk’s Eatery is committed to supporting ovarian cancer research and awareness, and with your support, they are able to give every woman a fighting chance. You can make a difference today and donate at newkscares.com. To date, Newk’s Cares has raised over $1.4 million for Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance

On September 17, you can join Newks for a live stream cycle workout to support the fight against Ovarian Cancer. Get moving, raise life-saving funds for research, and have fun doing it. Every dollar raised benefits OCRA’s research, advocacy and patient support programs! All livestreams will air from OCRA’s Facebook page. To register, click here.

Pensacola Graffiti Bridge Project

The graffiti bridge serves as a public, urban canvas for anyone with a paint brush and a cause. This bridge is painted every, if not multiple times per day. Locals are able to spread awareness through the Pensacola Graffiti Bridge Project, specific to Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, with messages, in teal, of; “fight like a girl.”

Picture from the Krewe of Vixen’s Facebook page.

Take a Stand 

In addition to attending, supporting or funding various awareness efforts, the most important stand you can make is with knowledge. Take care of your body, stick with your regular check-up routine, and know the early signs that can be the difference between life and death.