According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 22,500 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer this year and nearly 14,000 will lose their battle with that disease. Despite this earth-shattering statistic, one St. Louis nonprofit isn’t allowing fear to stop its fight. In fact, St. Louis Ovarian Cancer Awareness is allowing such facts to fuel its fire. Ladue News caught up with SLOCA community relations manager Tabitha Tomko to learn more about this organization as it celebrates Ovarian Cancer Awareness month.
What is the goal of St. Louis Ovarian Cancer Awareness?
SLOCA is committed to impacting ovarian cancer in our community by promoting awareness of early warning signs, funding ovarian cancer research and supporting survivors.
How is the organization celebrating Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month?
We work all year long to spread awareness, but September is truly our month to turn it teal, which is the color of ovarian cancer awareness! We will have billboards up around town, have yard signs and have several special events planned for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month!
Since the symptoms of ovarian cancer – bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, urinary urgency or frequency, and difficulty eating or feeling full quickly – can be subtle and are often dismissed, we want to educate as many women as we can. Early detection truly is key. A lot of our events also focus on survivors and offer them a fun day or evening and the opportunity to connect with others.
Why is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month important?
There is no routine diagnostic test for ovarian cancer. Many women mistakenly believe that the Pap test screens them. However, this is not the case. There is a lot of misinformation around ovarian cancer, and paired with symptoms that can be subtle or easily dismissed, it is key to educate about the symptoms. When the disease is caught early, treatment and survival rates are encouraging, but unfortunately, it is not often caught until late stages. We want Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month to help educate women so that they can advocate for their health if they find themselves experiencing symptoms or are at a higher risk due to family history of breast, ovarian or colon cancer.
What do funds raised from these events go toward?
The funds raised by SLOCA further our three-part mission to impact ovarian cancer in our community by raising awareness, funding research and supporting survivors. To date, we have funded more than half a million dollars in grants dedicated to ovarian cancer research, and each year, we host educational and social activities for ovarian cancer survivors – the funds raised through our events allow us to accomplish this as well as provide materials to spread awareness.
To learn more or to become involved with SLOCA, visit sloca.org.
- Sept. 13 – Ovarian Cancer Awareness Night at Busch Stadium, Cardinals v. Brewers
- Sept. 13 – James S. McDonnell Planetarium Turns Teal for Ovarian Cancer
- Sept. 17 – Teal Toes for SLOCA
- Oct. 13 – Families Run for Ovarian Cancer ROC Star 5K & 1-Mile Run/Walk