On Saturday morning, many people, including myself, some family and friends participated in the Head Over Teal 5K in support of ovarian cancer awareness and research. It occurred to me that many don’t know much about this devastating disease and it definitely doesn’t get as much attention as some other cancers. Nevertheless, you deserve to be educated and empowered about it because even if this awareness does not help you directly, it could very well help someone else.
As you may have read in previous EmpowerMoments, I was personally affected by this horrendous disease. My mom succumbed to it at only 48 years old. We had no family history of this disease and to say we were blindsided would be an understatement. I can’t help but think how much more empowered we could have been had we even known the signs and symptoms before the disease became so advanced. So, part of my mission in life is to spread the word as much as possible and through as many ways as possible about ovarian cancer “teal” it’s gone.
Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. (3 John 1:2)
Here are a few things you should know:
- September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month
- The color that represents ovarian cancer is teal.
- Ovarian cancer is often called the “silent killer” because of its often vague symptoms. Its symptoms are often noted in non-cancerous or less serious conditions and are overlooked until advanced disease.
- It is the deadliest of all cancers of the female reproductive system and ranks fifth in cancer deaths among women.
- It mainly develops in older women; half of all cases are in women 63 and older.
For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge (2 Peter 1:5)
Most common symptoms of ovarian cancer (Note these symptoms can be caused by other conditions, but when they are caused by ovarian cancer they tend to be persistent and a change from what is normal for you):
- Pelvic or abdominal pain
- Feeling full quickly or trouble eating
- Urinary symptoms such as urgency or frequency
Other symptoms include:
- Upset stomach
- Pain with intercourse
- Abdominal swelling with weight loss
- Menstrual changes
Ladies, early detection is key. Unfortunately, most women are not diagnosed until they are already in the later stages of the disease which greatly impacts survival lengths. Don’t ignore your body. Don’t ignore your health. If something doesn’t seem right then get checked out. Treatment is available such as surgery and chemotherapy. Error on the side of caution and as always keep the faith!
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. (I Corinthians 6: 19-20)
We know that You are all powerful and a mighty healer. Thank You for healing us of our ailments and protecting us from many sicknesses and diseases. Thank You for the knowledge provided to me to better care for myself and my loved ones. Thank You for those You have assigned to care for and treat those of us who have such diseases like cancer. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Ladies, I EMPOWER you to take charge of your health. I EMPOWER you to seek knowledge that can aid you in caring for yourself and others. I EMPOWER you to think about ovarian cancer next September and wear a teal ribbon in support of increasing awareness and honor of those fighting, or who have fought this disease! I EMPOWER you to be aware!
Mrs. Coretta Collins is a wife and mother who enjoys reading, writing, movies and spending time with family and friends. She is avid about health, healing and helping which serves her well as a Family Nurse Practitioner in a hematology and oncology practice. Striving to be led by the Lord throughout life and having overcome significant challenges, her favorite scripture is Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Coretta is a member of St. John A.M.E. Church in Birmingham, Alabama. She resides in Calera, Alabama with her awesome husband and two wonderful sons.