With a myriad of workshops taking place throughout the year, one topic the Atlanta Events Committee was excited to delve into was Ovarian Cancer. Events committee member and Senior Sales Commission Analyst, Grayson Holland, spearheaded the event—having lost his mother to the disease in 2013. He has since been a strong advocate for educational seminars to help women and their families become more aware of the symptoms and risk factors for ovarian cancer.
The session began with Doug Barron, Executive Director for the Georgia Ovarian Cancer Alliance, giving an in-depth overview of the risks, symptoms, and treatment of ovarian cancer and early detection.
In his discussion with the Atlanta office, Doug shared some pretty important facts and statistics:
- Currently, due to the lack of federal and local funding and support, awareness of gynecological cancers is not at the forefront of women’s health issues.
- There is neither a test nor a vaccine for ovarian cancer
- With early detection, women are given the opportunity to fight ovarian cancer prior to its progression into the later, fatal stages of the disease
- Three out of four women diagnosed will not survive ovarian cancer.
- Ovarian cancer is often misdiagnosed because symptoms are easily confused with other ailments
- 90% of women do not have a family history, which puts them at risk for later detection.
One thing that is important to remember is the acronym, TEAL, as a symptom indicator for women to reach out to their gynecologic oncologist.
- Too Frequent Urination
- Eating and feeling full quickly
- Abdominal pain or bloating
- Loss of appetite
The class was even able to hear from Georgette Robertson, a Breast and Ovarian Cancer survivor. In partnership with the Georgia Ovarian Cancer Alliance, Georgette participates in the Survivors Teaching Students: Saving Women’s Lives program. Doing so gives women and healthcare professionals a better understanding of ovarian cancer symptoms and risk factors so that they will be able to better diagnose the disease when it is in its earlier, most treatable stages.
This is of crucial importance because the majority of ovarian cancer cases are not diagnosed until the disease is advanced and the chances of survival are lesser.
How to get involved:
Getting involved and making a difference is simple. All it takes is the desire to want to make a difference in the lives of others. For starters, you can research local non-profit organizations that support ovarian cancer efforts. Like most organizations that rely heavily on research, monetary donations are always appreciated. But there are other ways to share your kindness and generosity:
- Volunteering at ovarian cancer events
- Attend and support ovarian cancer events
- Volunteer to speak as an ovarian cancer survivor
- Share awareness information via your social media
- Have your office sponsor an event
- Ask your local ovarian cancer organization what goods or services they are lacking
- Donate as often as you possibly can
Doug shared an important sentiment during his presentation about people participating in the efforts to find a cure and that was, “the life you save may be someone you love.”