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Cancer is never a happy subject to contemplate. But despite the specter of it in all our lives, we now have the scientific tools to fight back. Ovarian cancer is a particularly harmful and misunderstood form of the disease. World Ovarian Cancer Day, therefore, is an opportunity to bring women together from across the globe to raise awareness and help fight this condition.

Learn about World Ovarian Cancer Day

Ovarian cancer is a major disease, responsible for some 140,000 deaths globally every year. However, as with many other gynecological disorders, it is not particularly well understood, especially in some developing regions. For that reason, the charity, Target Ovarian Cancer, spearheaded World Ovarian Cancer Day, a global initiative to highlight the plight of women with the condition and provide hope.

World Ovarian Cancer Day, the organizer’s hope, will help to encourage governments and private institutions to dedicate more resources to the field. With enough money and scientific investigation, survival rates can improve, just as they have for other forms of cancer. 

Ovarian cancer occurs in the ovaries – the sac-like structures containing human egg cells in women – causing a host of complications. Women with the condition typically develop bloating, difficulty eating, pain in the abdominal area, and an increased need to urinate. Even though ovarian cancer is the eighth most common in the world, medics still frequently misdiagnose it. There is a need, therefore, for greater awareness and improved diagnostic equipment.

History of World Ovarian Cancer Day

World Ovarian Cancer Day is the brainchild of Target Ovarian Cancer. This leading cancer charity funds lifesaving research and provides support to women undergoing treatment. The charity first incorporated in 2008 and since then has pursued three main pillars, designed to take the edge off the disease.

The charity’s primary goal is to improve early cancer diagnosis. If you can catch ovarian cancer early, patients have a much higher chance of survival. The second goal is to raise money for lifesaving research. Currently, the charity supports some of the most novel and revolutionary and promising treatments that offer hope to millions of women with the condition.

Finally, there’s a pressing need to provide support for those with the disease. Living with cancer is always a challenge, but ovarian cancers are particularly troubling for all concerned. Target Ovarian Cancer makes special care provision for some patients.

While the charity first opened its doors in 2008, it wasn’t until 2013 that it launched World Ovarian Cancer Day. It was the first event of its kind anywhere in the world, so the organization opened it up to the global community. The day brought together organizations from around the world to teach communities about the disease and the symptoms associated with it.

Ovarian cancer is a severe health problem in practically every country, both rich and poor. Both medics and individuals need to know the signs and symptoms so that they can screen women and catch the disease early in its development. Part of the purpose of the day itself is to create a sense of solidarity among all those affected. The organizers want people to know that this is a scourge that they can fight and that there is always hope.

In the years following 2013, World Ovarian Cancer Day continued to gain momentum. Target Ovarian Cancer now works with more than one hundred ovarian cancer charities across more than thirty-two countries. They raise money for research, improve the public consciousness of the disease, and highlight the importance of getting symptoms checked out early.

Medics often diagnose ovarian cancer at a late stage in its development. In the early stages, symptoms tend to be mild. People pass them off as other conditions and don’t entertain the idea that they might be seriously ill. Physicians, therefore, typically encounter patients with advanced disease.

Both doctors and patients, therefore, need to consider the possibility of ovarian cancer early – if only to rule it out. The sooner they detect it, the more treatable it becomes.

Target Ovarian Cancer regularly organizes high-profile events to foster and direct the ovarian cancer conversation. In 2016, for instance, the charity organized a fund-raising event in which participants walked along the Great Wall of China!

With World Ovarian Cancer Day in the calendar, we all have an excuse to get stuck in. You can do something silly, and help support the hundreds of thousands of women who learn they have the condition every year.

How to celebrate World Ovarian Cancer Day

Think you can’t help celebrate World Ovarian Cancer Day? Think again! There are plenty of things that you can do – and you don’t even need to be a medic!

Sharing the symptoms of ovarian cancer is one of the most impactful things that you can do as an individual. Around one in seventy women will get the disease at some point in their lives, and yet most know very little about it. As discussed, telltale signs include bloating, a need for frequent urination, and pain in the abdomen. Women mustn’t rule out ovarian cancer and ascribe these symptoms to other causes. They need to know that it could be cancer.

The next thing you can do is share information about World Ovarian Cancer Day on social media in the run-up to the event itself. Use your existing accounts to reach out and find your voice.

For those who want to take things a step further, you could organize a fundraiser in the spirit of those run by Target Ovarian Cancer. No – you don’t have to walk thousands of miles along the Great Wall of China, but you can find creative ways to get people to hand over money in the community. Things like sponsored walks, marathons, swims, and even eating challenges can all rake in the donations fast.

Many people like to use the day to share their stores of ovarian cancer. The disease fundamentally changes the lives of all those it touches. Millions of people have either had the condition or know someone who did. Sharing your story can be a powerful way to engage others.

Finally, you can wear teal, donate to an ovarian charity, or like and subscribe to their social media posts.

So, what are you waiting for?

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