Teal Toes for September: It’s Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

Teal Toes can help start a conversation about the signs of ovarian cancer. See http://www.tealtoes.org.

We here at the ihatebreastcancer Foundation are equal opportunity nattering nabobs of neoplastic negativity. We hate all cancer.

Unfortunately, for some women there’s a link between ovarian and breast cancer.

Most cancer just happens–it’s sporadic vs. heriditary. The majority of people who develop breast cancer didn’t inherit an abnormal breast cancer gene and have no family history. But about five percent of people have a genetic mutation which predisposes them to cancer.
Two abnormal genes BRCA1 (BReast CAncer gene one) and BRCA2 (BReast CAncer gene two) are associated with a higher lifetime risk of developing breast and/or ovarian cancer.

Teal Toes in September can help promote ovarian cancer awareness. Ovarian cancer is often a silent killer. Symptoms may include:
>Pelvic or Abdominal Pain.
>Difficulty Eating or Feeling Full Quickly,
>Urinary issues (urgency or frequency).
Source: http://www.tealtoes.org/story

According to the Ovarian National Cancer Alliance:

Each year in the United States, more than 21,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer and about 15,000 women die of the disease. Ovarian cancer primarily develops in women over 45. From 2002 to 2006, the median age at diagnosis was 63.

A woman’s lifetime risk of developing invasive ovarian cancer is 1 in 71.
A woman’s lifetime risk of dying from invasive ovarian cancer is 1 in 95.

Ovarian cancer accounts for approximately 3 percent of cancers in women. While the ninth most common cancer among women, ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer-related death among women, and is the deadliest of gynecologic cancers.


7 thoughts on “Teal Toes for September: It’s Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

  1. Thank you for the info about ovarian cancer. I’m a breast cancer survivor who four years out discovered I was BRCA2 positive. Fortunately, I’d already had a total hysterectomy, so I could at least take ovarian cancer off my plate of worries. Your post has made me realize I should also write something about ovarian cancer.

    Thank you,

  2. Before I got mets from breast cancer, I had the Carcinista do a guest post on my blog, It is still one of my most viewed blog posts. We all painted our toes teal in honor of Ovarian survivors and posted photos on facebook, and will continue to do so.

    It is here: http://www.butdoctorihatepink.com/2010/10/guest-post-pinktober-from-teal-point-of.html

    When I was diagnosed with mets, the very first person I thought of was Sarah. I so badly wanted to talk to her but she had just died.

    She was a wonderful ambassador for Ovarian Cancer patients. A lot of us cancer survivors think the pink should be spread around, and Komen, if they had any balls at all (which they don’t) would just turn into a cancer organization.

  3. nancyspoint says:

    Thanks for this important information.

    I am one of the women in the 10% who can attribute my breast cancer to my genes. Since I am BRCA2 positive, I also had the “other surgeries.”

    I totally agree with the above comment. What if Komen had balls….? And what if September got some notice too?

  4. Carey says:

    Thank you, Katherine! I hope you received your Teal Toes symptom cards!

    Pinktober from a Teal POV is how I met Sarah. I am only sorry it took so long to find her– she was an important voice. Chemobrain has ruined my writing.

    I have corresponded with all of you in some way (FB or commenting on your blogs).

    I had Stage IIIC OC first and tried to have breast surgery pre-cancer but, to make a long story short, due to doctor ignorance, was unable to before being diagnosed with Stage2B. I think that the first breast surgeon I went to just didn’t understand that it is possible to live long enough with recurrent OC that preventing BC was necessary.

    I tired to engage Komen about all of this with no luck. I continue to be shocked about how many young women know that they are at risk of BC due to family prevalence but don’t know that they are also at risk of OC.

    I could go on but won’t…

  5. katherinembc says:

    Hi Carey
    Yes, thanks I did get my Teal Toes cards. I posted about Teal Toes on our company intranet (basically this post). That prompted two employees to contact me one had lost a sister to ovarian cancer and the other her mother as a well as a sister.

    I sent them some of my Teal Toes card and will also pass some along at my cancer center. Thanks for all you do.

    • Carey says:

      Amazing how often that happens. I went to the kickoff event the OvCa Natl Alliance had last night for the K.I.S.S. and Teal campaign with Avon Romance Books (romances are hugely popular and with an almost completely female readership!) and a hot topic of conversation was how many people are affected by OC but don’t really know where to go….

      (pushy as I am, I’d also send the woman who lost her mother and sister to FORCE, well, perhaps both of them if the OC was before 50)

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