Why As Women We’re Passionate About Bringing Awareness And Support To Ovarian Cancer
As women it could be said we have the raw end of the deal health wise —at any time we can be susceptible to more than one women specific cancer, from breast cancer, cervical cancer and ovarian.
However, while some women’s cancers have a positive survival rate, ovarian cancer sadly has one of the lowest.
According to Ovarian Cancer Australia, the overall five-year survival rate for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer is 45 per cent in Australia, compared to a 90 per cent five year survival rate for women diagnosed with breast cancer.
As ovarian cancer is a silent killer estimated to take 1000 lives each year in Australia (approximately one woman every eight hours) and lead to 1600 diagnoses a year, it’s not only a worrying disease but currently doesn’t have a high survival rate or as much support as it should.
Which is why, as a female led brand, at Francesca we have chosen to support Ovarian Cancer Australia this December by partnering with them to launch a teal Awareness bracelet, to help women affected by ovarian cancer with much needed funds for support and future research.
The Ovarian Cancer Australia bracelet is not only available for purchase all December (buy it online here) but it also is perfectly timed if you’re looking for a thoughtful Christmas gift for a woman in your life.
Be it a gift for your mum, a best friend, a sister or work colleague (as part of Secret Santa), a gift that supports charity is not only a meaningful gift but will leave you and your loved one feeling good knowing you could help support such a worthy cause!
While buying an awareness bracelet will provide a much needed donation —with $20 from each sale given directly to Ovarian Cancer Australia — it’s important to spread the word and help educate women too (as we at Francesca believe that knowledge is power!).
So to help shed a little light into what ovarian cancer is, what women can do to both prevent and detect ovarian cancer as well as support women diagnosed, we’ve created an ovarian cancer overview for you!
Read on to learn more about ovarian cancer and how you can help spread awareness and take ‘ovary action’ today!
What is ovarian cancer?
As outlined on the Ovarian Cancer Australia website…
“Ovarian cancer is a general term used to describe a cancerous (malignant) tumour starting in one or both ovaries. The ovaries are made up of three main kinds of cells – epithelial cells, stromal cells and germ cells. Each of these cells can develop into a different type of tumour.”
The ovaries are a critical part of the female body and reproductive system that contain germ cells that develop a woman's eggs (ova) as well as the key female hormones oestrogen and progesterone that regulate the menstrual cycle and affect the development of female body characteristics such as breasts, hair and body.
Ovarian cancer currently can stem into several types of malignant cancer, but the main subtypes include:
Epithelial tumours - the most common type of ovarian cancer, epithelial is a cancer that starts in the cells lining the surface layer (epithelial) of the ovary.
Germ cell tumours - an ovarian cancer that begins within the cells eventually developing into eggs. This is a lot more rare only accounts for five per cent of ovarian cancers.
- Stromal cell, sex-cord stromal cell ovarian cancer, stromal tumours and sarcomas - much rarer forms of ovarian cancer.
With so many varying diagnoses and forms of ovarian cancer, it can sometimes be difficult to find specific information on the specific cancer you have. If this is the case for you, Ovarian Cancer Australia recommends visiting the Rare Cancers website.
What are the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer?
Sadly, unlike cervical cancer where you can have a pap smear to detect a diagnosis early on, there is currently no way to test for ovarian cancer. The only way you can try to detect development is by looking out for common warning signs and symptoms.
Signs and symptoms can include:
- Ongoing abdominal bloating or an increase in abdominal size
- Abdominal or pelvic (lower tummy) pain
- Feeling full after only eating a small amount of food
- Needing to urinate urgently or often
- Changes in bowel habits
- Unexplained weight gain or loss
- Excessive fatigue
- Lower back pain
- Indigestion or nausea
- Bleeding after menopause or in-between periods
- Pain during sex or bleeding after
How can I help support those with ovarian cancer?
There are so many ways you can help spread the love, light and support to those diagnosed!
The most simple way is by purchasing an Ovarian Cancer Australia awareness bracelet from us at Francesca.
By purchasing one of our beautiful teal gemstone bracelets $20 from every sale will be donated directly to the Ovarian Cancer Australia, helping them raise much needed funds for cancer research and support to those affected.
Plus, by wearing it and sharing the love on social media with the tag #stretchawareness you can help spread the message and hopefully encourage other women to purchase a bracelet to support the cause too.
As a handmade bracelet from Tasmania, beaded by our in house Francesca team, it is a beautiful gift for loved ones in the lead up to Christmas while also raising funds for a worthy cause!
In addition, you can also spread awareness by checking out Ovarian Cancer Australia to learn how you can take action by taking part in ‘Teal Ribbon Day’ on February 26th 2020 or making a donation directly.