On Wednesday, September 26, YWCA Greenwich and T.E.A.L. ® (Tell Every Amazing Lady®) will be co-hosting an informational seminar to increase awareness about ovarian cancer, a silent and deadly disease that is the fifth leading cause of cancer related deaths in women ages 35 – 74. September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.
“YWCA Greenwich is proud to be launching our new Women’s Health and Wellness Initiative by partnering with T.E.A.L. to bring awareness of this disease to women in our community and help to empower them by providing important information about detection and treatment options,” Mary Lee A. Kiernan, YWCA President and CEO.
One in 75 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in their lifetime. The informational seminar, part of the Women’s Health and Wellness Initiative of YWCA Greenwich, will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at YWCA Greenwich, 259 East Putnam Avenue in Greenwich and will feature experts including Dr. Kevin Holcomb, Director of Gynecologic Oncology at New York Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell and Dr. Melissa K. Frey, Assistant Professor at New York Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell, who will discuss the basics of ovarian cancer and key methods of prevention as well as the role of genetics in preventing ovarian cancer. Dr. Elena Ratner, Director of Early Ovarian Cancer Detection at Stamford Hospital and Yale New Haven Hospital will be moderating.
The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be over 23,000 cases diagnosed this year and that more than 15,000 women will die from this horrific disease. Ovarian cancer has non- specific signs and symptoms and lacks methods for early detection; only 20% of cases are found in early stages (I & II). If ovarian cancer is caught in stage III or higher, the survival rate can be as low as 28%. There is no effective screening test for ovarian cancer and the Pap Smear does not detect for the disease. Some symptoms of ovarian cancer are bloating, unusual weight gain or loss, vague but persistent and unexplained gastrointestinal complaints, back pain, frequency and/or urgency of urination, among others.
“Ovarian Cancer presents differently than other diseases that affect the reproductive system. The signs and symptoms whisper and are non-specific. At times, women undergo months of workups and are referred to a gynecological oncologists too late. We will be working closely with the medical community of Connecticut to include primary care and gastrointestinal physicians, in hopes that we can all better educate ourselves on current findings of this devastating disease. Time is of the essence with Ovarian Cancer, as only 20% of cases are detected in stage I & II. If the disease progresses to stage III or higher, the survival rate is daunting,” said Kaile Josephs Zagger, T.E.A.L. Volunteer.
“My mother was diagnosed with Stage IV Ovarian Cancer at the age of 40 years old with no signs or specific symptoms. After a noble but devastating fight, she succumbed to the disease at 46 years old, I was 19. I am hopeful that the work we are doing in Connecticut will save families from having to experience this silent killer. If I may offer some advice to all the ladies out there – you know your body. If you think there is something wrong, there may just be. Fight for that and don’t stop until you are satisfied with the answers. There are people around you and groups, like TEAL, here to support you. Listen to the whispers of your body.”
This event is free and open to the public. For more information about YWCA Greenwich and to register for this event, please visit www.ywcagreenwich.org/womens-health-and-wellness-series.
For more information about T.E.A.L. and how you can find support, volunteer or donate, please visit their website at www.TellEveryAmazingLady.ort. Educational and awareness events being held in September can also be found at www.TellEveryAmazingLady.org/Greenwich.
# # #
About YWCA Greenwich
Founded in 1919, YWCA Greenwich is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. YWCA Greenwich provides programs for people of all ages and genders with initiatives that include preschool and after school programs, aquatics programs, youth athletics, arts programs, health and fitness programs and seminars focusing on racial justice and women’s empowerment. Additionally, YWCA Greenwich is the only provider of domestic abuse services in Greenwich, with staff who are licensed to provide crisis intervention, counseling, shelter, and victim advocacy. These services are free.
Tell Every Amazing Lady about Ovarian Cancer Foundation’s mission is to promote public awareness and education of the signs, symptoms and risk factors of Ovarian Cancer, while providing support to survivors and raising funds for research in order to find the cure for Ovarian Cancer. Our goal is to decrease mortality rates by helping women identify signs and symptoms and urging them to seek medical help at the earliest possible stages. We believe that by equipping women, families and the medical community with knowledge about the disease and its signs, and encouraging women to listen to their bodies, we can save lives. Our programs thrive on the principal that awareness and education of Ovarian Cancer is empowering, and understanding this deadly disease is the first step toward fighting it.