Every other day, a woman in Colorado dies from ovarian cancer. The Colorado Ovarian Cancer Alliance (COCA) is devoted to raising awareness about this type of cancer and money to support research into finding a cure.
The American Cancer Society estimates that nearly 21,990 women in the United States will receive a new diagnosis of ovarian cancer in 2011, and about 15,460 women will die from the disease. Ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cancer in females in the United States but it is the most common cause of death among women who develop gynecologic cancer.
"Deaths can be prevented by greater awareness of ovarian cancer symptoms and earlier diagnosis," Guadalupe (Pep) Torres, COCA executive director, said. "There is no screening test for ovarian cancer - and the Pap test does not check for ovarian cancer - so being able to recognize the symptoms is critical to saving lives."
Symptoms of ovarian cancer include bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, difficulty eating or feeling full quickly, and urinary urgency or frequency. Since the symptoms of early-stage ovarian cancer are often vague and may not be specific or severe, too often a woman does not seek medical attention promptly.
The mission of COCA is to promote awareness about ovarian cancer through advocacy, education and support. COCA, a partner member of the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance (OCNA), has joined forces with the Cheryl Shackelford Foundation, the Kathleen Bennett Foundation, the Sue DiNapoli Foundation and the HERA Women's Cancer Foundation to create the Ovarian Cancer Task Force (OCTF) to raise awareness throughout Colorado. To learn more about COCA and its work, visit http://www.colo-ovariancancer.org.
(KUSA-TV © 2011 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)