So here it is, the last day of September, which is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Before everything turns pink tomorrow (and I do mean everything – I saw pink tortillas the other day), I feel the need to make my annual soapbox speech.
YOU GUYS. PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR OVARIES.
Did that work?
Okay, let me be a little more specific.
I have an entirely different perspective on this than I did a year ago, when I wasn’t paying attention, conveniently ignoring “persistent pressure or pain in the pelvic region” I had waxed poetic about for years. Little did I know that my annual screening (which I didn’t get around to until it was nearly three months overdue) would show a cyst in my ovary and an elevation in my CA-125 level, results that led to a laparoscopic surgery the following day and, eventually, a complete hysterectomy.
The good news is, as you know, I didn’t have cancer, but it scared the living daylights out of me.
The other good news is that for the 200,000 women who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year, they are making progress.
So here are the takeaways.
Know your risk.
If you are at an increased risk, take precautionary methods and have an ultrasound and a CA-125 screening each year, and do what you can to decrease the risk.
For more information, check out the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.
And for heaven’s sake, pay attention.