Everything You Need To Know About Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian Cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women, yet, it is often overlooked and rarely understood. Most people are aware of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Daffodil Day, but few people are aware of White Shirt Day – the 8th of May.

Maybe you are wearing a white shirt today by chance, or maybe you knew that today was the Ovarian Cancer’s annual awareness day. Either way, we all need to know more about Ovarian Cancer.

Shining the light on Ovarian Cancer research, White Shirt Day is championed by Witchery. The brand supports the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation (OCRF) by selling beautiful white shirts, and donating everything (except GST) to the foundation.

This is so important for a  multitude of reasons, but mainly because “when detected and treated early, 80-100% of women will survive beyond five years compared with only 20-30% when diagnosed at a later stage.”

The problem we face is that there is currently no screening test available for ovarian cancer.  That is why, to date, Witchery has raised $9.4million* dollars to help fund vital research in developing an early detection test for ovarian cancer.

There are a lot of symptoms of Ovarian Cancer, unfortunately, they are things women can experience for a multitude of reasons. The OCRF says that “in its early stages, Ovarian Cancer usually has no symptoms or only vague ones.” If symptoms do occur, they may include:

  • pressure
  • discomfort or pain in the abdomen or pelvis
  • swollen or bloated abdomen
  • appetite loss or feeling full quickly
  • changes in toilet habits (e.g. constipation; diarrhoea, passing urine often due to pressure, increased flatulence)
  • heartburn and nausea
  • tiredness
  • unexplained weight loss or gain; changes in menstrual pattern or bleeding after menopause
  • or pain during sex

Risk factors include:

  • Age – ovarian cancer is most common in women over 50 and in women who have gone through menopause, and the risk increases with age.
  • Reproductive history – women who had not had children, were unable to have children, or had children over the age of 30 may be slightly more at risk.
  • Having endometriosis – a benign condition in which the tissue that lines the uterus is also found in other areas of the body.
  • Lifestyle factors – such as being overweight or eating a high-fat diet.
  • Hormonal factors – including early puberty or late menopause, or using oestrogen-only hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for five years or more.

After reading this I am sure I am not the only one to admit that I have felt some of these symptoms on various occasions. Unfortunately, in most instances the causes of ovarian cancer are unknown.

“Currently, you can ask for a blood test or to be referred for an ultrasound. However, this does not act as an early detection test and that is why the OCRF needs your support to continue vital research!” the OCRF says.

If you are worried, the best thing to do is speak to your health professional.

“You know your body best – if something doesn’t feel right, be persistent.”

Witchery’s White Shirt Day ambassador Zoe Cross is proud to don a white shirt.

“I wear a white shirt to help raise awareness for a disease that affects so many. I am fortunate enough to have a platform I can use to share my voice, and I urge everyone to buy a white shirt in support of the OCRF who are working towards the development of an early detection test to save women’s lives”, Zoe Cross says.

White shirt day just so happens to be today. Of course, this doesn’t mean it’s too late to head to Witchery and get a white shirt. After all everything (except GST) will be donated to Ovarian Cancer Research for much needed support to continue vital research.

We all love shopping, so now we can do it for a good cause.

You’ll also like: