Wednesday, March 13, 2013

From Near and Far – Teal News

There is plenty of Teal News to share from both near and far.

Close to home and just in time for Women’s History Month, Chasen A Cure will be presenting information on ovarian cancer symptom awareness as part of The Healthy Woman Through the Ages at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library on Thursday, March 21st at 7:30 pm. Bodily self awareness, symptom tracking and the crucial role they play in early diagnosis and survival will be the focus.  Join us for this educational event.

The donations are coming in for the NOCC Walk to Break the Silence on Ovarian Cancer on Saturday, May 4th. This year’s event has expanded from a 3 mile walk to include a 5k run. NOCC Illinois has done a fabulous job securing new sponsors including the MSB Hope Foundation which honors of fellow Res Alumnae Mary Guerrirri Bertolini.

Support Team Chasen A Cure at this year's NOCC Walk!

A bit further from home, in a place known as “down under”, it was Ovarian Cancer Awareness Day and of significant progress towards a blood test for the early detection of ovarian cancer was in the news. The team at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, led by Dr Goli Samimi, has identified specific biological changes that occur in the DNA. Targeted towards high-risk women, this test could be a significant breakthrough towards early diagnosis, which could lead to better survival rates. I was “tickled teal” to see that Dee of Woman of Teal was able to conduct an interview with Dr Samimi. Impressive that Dr. Samimi took the time to respond and personally share her insights.

Exploring down under, I uncovered research by Ovarian Cancer Australia reported that three out of five women incorrectly believe that ovarian cancer is detected by a pap smear and over half believe that the HPV vaccine protects against ovarian cancer. The battle for education is worldwide. The OCA site has a link to a spiffy iPhone app called KISS (Know the Important Signs and Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer) and MAKEUP – a symptom diary and makeup tips all in one.

Closer to home, the importance of seeking effective, experienced care as imperative to survival was highlighted in Dr. Robert Bristow’s presentation of his abstract NCCN treatment guidelines for ovarian cancer: A population-based validation study of structural and process quality measures stressing the importance of seeking out physicians and facilities with specific experience in ovarian cancer at the 2013 SGO conference in Los Angeles. This reinforces the importance of the patient and their family as the best advocate for quality care. It all begins with education; so that you can speak confidently to your physicians about your concerns. Never hesitate to ask for fear of offending the doctor. Seek out a quality medical team which is experienced in multidisciplinary cancer treatment methods. Where do you go?? The Foundation for Women’s Cancer’s new website is a great place to start for news, events and a search function for gynecological oncologists.

A review of the abstracts presented at the SGO Conference is fascinating reading and casts hope for the future. Chasen A Cure favorite Cancer Warrior, Dr. David G. Mutch collaborated with Dr. Matthew Powell and the team from Wash U. on several abstracts. There is hope for developments in patient care, diagnosis, and prevention from near and far.

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