Foundation hopes to raise awareness of ovarian cancer with walk at UNLV

It’s time to rally and raise some Owareness.

The made-up word is a gathering call for those affected by ovarian cancer, which occurs in approximately one out of 71 women each year, according to the Women’s Cancer Center Foundation for Research.

The foundation plans to host the second annual “Owareness — A Walk for Ovarian Cancer” from 9:30 a.m. to
12:30 p.m. Saturday at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 4505 S. Maryland Parkway.

Ovarian cancer is the deadliest gynecological cancer and the fifth-leading cause of cancer deaths among American women.

Cancers in the reproductive organs can be successfully treated if detected early, said Dr. Natalie Gould, gynecologic oncologist with the Women’s Cancer Center of Nevada, but ovarian cancer is difficult to diagnose.

“There isn’t a good test for ovarian cancer yet, and the obvious symptoms are vague,” she said. “The acronym is BEAT — ‘b’ is for bloating, ‘e’ is for eating less, ‘a’ is for abdominal pain and ‘t’ is for trouble with bladder. That’s not very specific for ovaries.”

Approximately 67 percent of ovarian cancer cases are diagnosed at an advanced stage after the cancer has spread beyond the ovaries, according to the Women’s Cancer Center Foundation for Research.

Gould said the Owareness walk is a chance to raise awareness for the disease in hopes women get checked and diagnosed early.

“The survival rate for someone with Stage 1 ovarian cancer is in the 90th percentile,” she said.

September is GYN Cancer Awareness Month. Gynecological cancers are most commonly found in populations with uninsured and underinsured women in the U.S., Gould said.

Community leaders, doctors and medical professionals and patients and survivors are expected to attend the walk and are slated to talk about the impact of the disease.

“This is a bad disease with less publicity than, say, breast cancer,” she said.

Proceeds will go to the “Cash For Chemos” program, which provides chemotherapy for uninsured women who cannot afford their cancer treatments.

Las Vegas resident Cathy Greene said although she was one of the about 21,000 U.S. women a year to be diagnosed, she wouldn’t let herself be a death statistic.

“This is a beautiful life, and I don’t want to miss anything,” she said.

She was diagnosed in 2009 and is currently in remission. Greene said she met women with her same diagnosis struggling to pay for treatment.

“That should be their very last worry,” she said.

She said she’ll participate in the Owareness event this year to walk for them.

Registration is $25, which is tax-
deductible. All proceeds go to the foundation.

For more information or to register, visit owareness.com.

Contact Centennial and North Las Vegas View reporter Maggie Lillis at mlillis@viewnews.com or 477-3839.

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