Encouraging women to learn more about what can be a deadly cancer, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) today hosted an outreach event on the steps of the State Capitol as part of Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. The event encouraged women to learn more about the symptoms of ovarian cancer, which may lead to early detection of this deadly disease.
“Ovarian cancer was once thought of as a silent killer with no symptoms,” said Dr. Linda Rudolph, acting chief deputy director, of CDPH. “However new studies shows there are symptoms women can watch for if they learn the warning signs.”
Symptoms include bloating, abdominal pain, urinary symptoms and difficulty eating or feeling full quickly. Rudolph said if women experience these symptoms for more than two weeks, they should consult their physician.
Today’s event announced the upcoming “Race for Her,” a 5K run/walk hosted by Fleet Feet Event Management, to be held this Saturday, Sept. 19 at the UC Davis Medical Center. The event will raise funds for ongoing ovarian cancer research.
Teal ribbons, the official color of ovarian cancer awareness, were displayed in areas around the event in an effort to highlight today’s message. Visitors received symptom cards and other educational materials containing facts about ovarian cancer.
“Unlike other women's cancers like cervical or breast, there is no annual test that women can take to detect ovarian cancer," said Terri Thorfinnson, chief of CDPH's Office of Women's Health. "Women must learn the facts to determine if a doctor visit is needed.”
The American Cancer Society estimates that 21,650 new cases of ovarian cancer were diagnosed and 15,520 women died of the disease in the United States in 2008. Unlike the Pap Test which screens for cervical cancer and the mammogram for breast cancer, there is currently no reliable test available to detect ovarian cancer in its early stages. For more information, visit www.cdoc-online.org/ovarian.