Twenty-five days to go until my trip to New York, courtesy of Foodbuzz and Electrolux, to decorate cakes with supermom Kelly Ripa!
Today I'm doing some of the more serious prep work - no frosting, no recipes, no inspirational cake photos. Today I'm learning about ovarian cancer. The event on February 9th will benefit the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, a terrific organization doing something really important: raising money to help scientists battle this insidious disease.
Of all the horrible diseases out there, ovarian cancer is the one I worry about most. Do you remember the episode of "thirtysomething" when Nancy found out she had ovarian cancer? Busy mom, two little kids, feeling kind of run down, backache that wouldn't quit. She almost didn't even tell her doctor about the backache. And then the doctor, doing her pelvic exam, paused...and you knew something was really wrong. I remember thinking: But it was just a backache. How could that be cancer? Wouldn't she have been feeling really sick? Wouldn't she have known?
I was naive. Ovarian cancer sneaks up on you. It's often missed, or misdiagnosed, until it's way too late. The best defense is information. So today I'm learning the facts about ovarian cancer. For example:
- Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer death among women.
- The symptoms of ovarian cancer are vague and often mistaken for more innocuous conditions. I mean, we're all tired and bloated. We all lose our appetite from time to time. We all get stomach aches. Many of us have to pee a lot. Right? Would you assume it's cancer? Well, neither do most doctors.
- The best way to protect yourself is to know your body. If you have any of the symptoms above, and it's unusual for you and/or a big change from the past, get it checked out.
- If you've got a family history of ovarian, breast, endometrial or colon cancer, your risk for ovarian cancer is higher. Talk to your doctor about proactive screening.
- When ovarian cancer is caught early (before it spreads into the pelvic region), the five-year-survival rate is 92 percent. Most of the time, however, it's not found until it's more advanced. Which is why it's crucial that we put more research dollars into early detection and prevention.
- Since 1998, the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund has awarded $33 million in grants to 138 scientists at more than 40 medical centers around the U.S. The more they raise, the more they can give away to the doctors and scientists waging war against this disease.
I'm so glad to have a chance to support the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. Won't you help me? Spread the word. Here's how to keep track of them:
- The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund website
- Follow the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund on Twitter
- Fan the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund on Facebook