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Wear Teal Friday For Ovarian Cancer Awareness

Updated: Thursday, September 5 2013, 11:09 AM EDT
Hundreds of women in the Tri-State are asking you to wear teal this week in honor of National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, which is September.

Local 12's Liz Bonis "asks the experts" at TriHealth, what all of us should know about it in today's Medical Edge.

When Debbie Heile was diagnosed with ovarian cancer nearly two years ago...

Debbie Heile, Patient:
"It was very dramatic. The people in my family that had ovarian cancer had died from it."

Now, she is one of many asking you to celebrate those living after being diagnosed with this disease on National Wear Teal Day, which is Friday, September 6.

Doctor Jim Pavelka is a women's health specialist who says Debbie is one of the lucky ones. She found her cancer at an early stage, after genetic testing showed she was at risk for the disease.

Dr. Jim Pavelka, TriHealth:
"If you find ovarian cancer early, it can be very cureable. Only about one in four women who have ovarian cancer have it diagnosed at stage one, so a majority have it diagnosed after it's spread or matasticized."

Debbie also had early stage breast cancer, which is why she chose genetic testing.  She says many women, however, don't realize there is even a possible connection between these two cancers.
So, this week she is sharing her story, so other women will remember the warning signs, and the importance of early detection for ovarian cancer.

It's suggested you see your health care provider if you have a sudden onset or prolonged symptoms of ovarian cancer, such as...

“Abdominal bloating, abdominal pain, urinary frequency, and a change in bowel habits."

Debbie says, as common as those are, you know your own body and you know when something doesn't feel right.
As for her own journey...

"I would never have changed my life, the journey that I've taken, the journey that I've been on has been a tremendous one, in that I've learned about myself, hopefully influenced others."

Wear teal Friday, or any other day this month, she says, and tell people why you are wearing it.  Remember, health care providers at TriHealth welcome your questions.

Wear Teal Friday For Ovarian Cancer Awareness

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