CENTERVILLE — If you’re seeing teal ribbons around trees and lamp posts in Western New York this month, it’s all a part of “Turn the Towns Teal” — a national volunteer campaign to raise awareness among women and men about ovarian cancer, its subtle symptoms and risk factors.
Volunteers in all 50 states as well as in Canada and Bermuda tie biodegradable Teal ribbons in their towns, at their businesses, places of worship, and neighborhoods as well as on their private residences. They also distribute symptom cards and use other materials to increase ovarian cancer awareness. This all occurs in September which is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness month.
Local businesswoman Debbie Hackett of Centerville was diagnosed with this deadly disease in November 2017. While undergoing treatment, she has dedicated herself to raising awareness in our area and has brought the “Turn the Towns Teal” project to Franklinville and Lime Lake in Cattaraugus County; Angelica, Fillmore, and Friendship in Allegany County; Arcade in Wyoming County; and Holland In Erie County.
Hackett says, “A Pap test does NOT detect ovarian cancer. If you or a woman you know experiences one or more of the following symptoms for ten days to two weeks, consult your gynecologist, physician, or preferably a gynecological oncologist.”
Potential Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer may include: Bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, nausea or indigestion, difficulty eating, urgent or frequent urination, changes in bowel habits, weight gain/loss, fatigue, back Pain, menstrual changes or pain during intimacy.
Like many diseases, there are risk factors for ovarian cancer as well, putting women with these indicators into a higher risk category: Genetic predisposition (BRCA1/BRCA2 gene); Personal or family history of breast, ovarian or colon cancer; Increasing age;Reproductive history and infertility; and Hormone replacement therapy.
Hackett concludes, “Talking with other women going through treatment, and with survivors, is an amazing healing opportunity. Whether you’re a warrior like me, a survivor, or just a person who loves the women in your life, tell every amazing lady you know that I’m looking for OV-CA (ovarian cancer) women in Allegany, Cattaraugus and Wyoming counties to get an official local support group started. Reach out to me today at 585-322-2394 or email email@example.com. And thanks to my wonderful friends in each of the “Turn the Towns Teal” communities. None of this could have happened without them.”
For more information, consult your health care professional and visit:www.turnthetownsteal.org