SYLACAUGA -- Sylacauga is one of many cities across the state helping to raise awareness about gynecologic cancers.
“Raising awareness to the symptoms of gynecologic cancers, such as ovarian cancer, is very important and could ultimately save women’s lives,” said Doris Moody, A State of Teal committee member representing the Laura Crandall Brown Ovarian Cancer Foundation.
Moody and Sylacauga native Kayla Stone, an ovarian cancer survivor, both spoke to the Sylacauga City Council, which issued a proclamation designating September as Ovarian/GYN Cancer Awareness Month.
Moody said three Birmingham organizations, the CanSurvive GYN Cancer Support Group, the Laura Crandall Brown Ovarian Cancer Foundation and the Norma Livingston Ovarian Cancer Foundation, are partnering to raise awareness with their A State of Teal campaign. The campaign is taking place in September, which is also National Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month.
“A State of Teal is designed to raise awareness not only of GYN cancers, but also the impact of these cancers on Alabamians and the need for research and improved screening tests,” she said. “There is no screening test for ovarian cancer.”
Stone said she was extremely lucky that her ovarian cancer was found early.
“I had to go to four different doctors before I found the right one,” she said.
Stone said while having surgery for another health issue, the doctors made a secondary finding of her ovarian cancer, which probably saved her life.
“Most of the time they don’t find it until it’s too late,” she said.
Moody said knowing the symptoms of ovarian cancer can save lives. Some of the symptoms include bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, difficulty eating or feeling full quickly, and urinary symptoms such as urgency or frequency.
“Many times these symptoms aren’t recognized for what they really are, because they are also symptoms of many other things,” she said. “And ovarian cancer can strike young people like Kayla. She had to be persistent to find the right doctor, which may have saved her life. How many college-age women would be that persistent?”
Moody said endometrial/uterine cancer is the most common gynecologic cancer. The primary symptom of endometrial cancer is abnormal bleeding.
Cervical cancer has been steadily decreasing in incidence with the increased prevalence of pap smear screening.
For more information about the symptoms of all GYN cancers, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at cdc.gov/cancer/gynecologic.
For more information about the A State of Teal campaign, visit AStateOfTeal.org.
Contact Elsie Hodnett at firstname.lastname@example.org.