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September

Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month – September 2023

Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month is observed every year in September. Ovarian cancer often has no symptoms, making it difficult to diagnose. When symptoms appear, they tend to be associated with other conditions. Understanding ovarian cancer’s early signs and symptoms can help drastically decrease deaths and save many lives. Screening ovarian cancer is difficult, but blood tests and pelvic imaging are currently best for diagnoses.

History of Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

Sir Spencer Wells, who died in 1872, is credited with believing that changed peritoneal mesothelioma causes most ovarian cancer. Before 1950, ovarian cancer was typically treated with surgery or radiotherapy. Researchers concentrated on palliative care for advanced ovarian cancer as chemotherapy was not discovered. They used a variant of nitrogen mustard.

In 1956, researchers at M.D. Anderson Hospital started treating patients with the alkylating agent melphalan, which helped shrink tumors in six of seven patients with advanced ovarian cancer. In 1966, researchers noted that melphalan could be curative. They claimed that 13 patients responded well to the treatment, with no tumors discovered in any of them, and chemotherapy was discontinued. Only two patients developed recurrence after follow-ups.

In the 1970s, patients for whom melphalan was unsuccessful had no other effective treatment. In 1976, a report from the U.K. noted that one out of four patients responded to cisplatin, but it did not cure the tumor. But this started a modern era of chemotherapy for ovarian cancer. Griffiths and Fuller published findings in 1978 that supported the use of debulking surgery. They found that patients who underwent debulking surgery and had residual disease less than 1.6 cm in diameter lived for 40 months. In contrast, no patient with a residual greater than 1.5 cm survived for 40 months.

Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month timeline

Before 1950
Surgery or Radiotherapy is the Only Treatment

Researchers concentrate on palliative care for advanced ovarian cancer as they are the only treatments currently available.

1956
Melphalan is Used

Researchers at M.D. Anderson Hospital treats patients with the alkylating agent melphalan to shrink tumors in six of seven patients with advanced ovarian cancer.

1970s
Cisplatin is Found Effective

A report from the U.K. states that one out of four patients have responded to cisplatin, but the treatment does not cure the tumor.

1978
Debulking Surgery is Advocated

Griffiths and Fuller publish findings in support of the use of debulking surgery.

Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month FAQs

When is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month?

September is observed as an ovarian cancer awareness month.

Which ribbon color is for ovarian cancer?

The teal-colored ribbon is for ovarian cancer.

Is ovarian cancer rare in the U.K.?

The U.K. gets 21 new cases of ovarian cancer every day, the sixth most common cancer in females.

How to Observe Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

  1. Read up

    Learn about ovarian cancer's causes and early signs. Find out what puts people at risk and what you can do to help them.

  2. Spread awareness

    Raise awareness of the early signs and symptoms and educate people about them. Make individuals aware of the right cure and what to do if diagnosed.

  3. Volunteer

    Many walks and races are held across the country to support those at risk of ovarian cancer and help them. Many activities are now available online. Volunteer to generate funds to help people with their treatment.

5 Facts About Ovarian Cancer

  1. It doesn’t always start in the ovaries

    Most ovarian cancers start in the cells of the fallopian tube, which then multiply and reach the ovaries.

  2. Pregnancy and birth control pills lower risk

    Studies show that full-term pregnancy and birth control pills can lower the risk.

  3. It is diagnosed with a biopsy

    A biopsy is a procedure in which a tiny bit of aberrant tissue is removed to determine the presence of cancer and confirm the diagnosis.

  4. Old age is a significant risk

    Ovarian cancer usually affects women who are 63 years or older.

  5. Blood tests and screenings can help

    Screenings and blood tests are the best ways to detect ovarian cancer early.

Why Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month is Important

  1. It supports people

    This month is dedicated to people suffering from Ovarian cancer. We can encourage them to share their stories with others.

  2. It creates awareness

    This month raises awareness of possible early signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer. This allows people to take action sooner rather than later.

  3. It changes lives

    Due to early diagnosis, people take treatment and get a second chance to live. People can lead everyday lives.

Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month dates

YearDateDay
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2024September 1Sunday
2025September 1Monday
2026September 1Tuesday
2027September 1Wednesday
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