September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, and teal ribbons have been tied in downtown Bowling Green, Grand Rapids, Pemberville, Haskins and in Perrysburg at the Mercy Health Center to promote awareness.
The ribbons are part of a nationwide Turn the Towns Teal campaign spearheaded locally by the Ovarian Cancer Connection, a 501c3 nonprofit serving Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan.
The mission of Turn the Towns Teal is to raise awareness of ovarian cancer and its often subtle symptoms and risk factors. Teal is the color associated with ovarian cancer.
Every woman is at risk of developing ovarian cancer. Knowing the subtle symptoms and risk factors can literally save a woman’s life. If detected in its early stages, the success rate is 90-95%. As of today, there is no conclusive early detection test.
Turn the Towns Teal is a three-tiered campaign: Volunteers can 1) “Teal” their town(s), 2) “Teal” their neighborhoods, businesses, places of worship, etc. and/or 3) “Teal” their personal homes. Participants can register for any tier on www.turnthetownsteal.org to get involved and order their campaign materials.
Potential symptoms of ovarian cancer include bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain/discomfort, vague but persistent gastrointestinal upsets, difficulty eating or feeling full quickly, urinary symptoms (urgency or frequency), unexplained changes in bowel habits, unexplained weight gain/loss, ongoing unusual fatigue, back pain, menstrual changes and pain during intimacy. If these symptoms persist for 10 days to two weeks, consult a gynecologist, physician or preferably a gynecological oncologist.
A Pap test does not detect ovarian cancer.