Everyone knows that October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and you see PINK everywhere during this month as a reminder. It is so wonderful that breast cancer awareness, prevention & treatment has come so far. I would never want to take anything away from that. I have had MANY friends fight breast cancer over the years. But for me personally, I also think of ovarian cancer in October because I lost a dear friend to ovarian cancer on Halloween 2009.
Courtney was one of my sorority sisters and one of my roomates my 4th year at UVA. She was young and healthy. She was a runner and a special education teacher only two years out of college. Here is she and I in June 2009 on a weekend trip back to UVA shortly before she was diagnosed.
She had a little bit of a stomach ache that weekend and she didn't know why but she didn't let it stop us from having a fun weekend. We shopped, went to a football game, and hit all the college bars with several of our sorority sisters. Just a few short weeks later she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and four months later on Halloween she passed away from this horrible disease.
Ovarian cancer is a silent killer as many people do not realize they have it until it is in it's later stages, making it very hard to treat. Common signs/symptoms of ovarian cancer are generic - stomach pain, indigestion, loss of appetite, bloating, change in bowel/bladder habits, low back pain or lack of energy. As you can see these symptoms could easily be confused with so many other things. If you or someone you know is experiencing these persistent symptoms please get yourself checked out. Like with breast cancer, if you have a family history of this disease you need to be even more cautious about it.