RiverView Foundation Works to Spread T.E.A.L. Ovarian Cancer Awareness

9/11/2017

While September probably makes you think of the rich colors of falling leaves and harvest, there’s a more important color representing September if you are a woman or have women in your life – teal.

Teal is the color for ovarian cancer awareness, which is recognized in September. T.E.A.L. is also a good reminder to:

• Talk to your doctor about your family history and how to best care for your health;
• Educate yourself on symptoms and learn how to care for yourself;
• Act. You are your best advocate, so don't be afraid to reach out if something doesn't seem right;
• Listen to your body and to your loved ones. Support each other and again, if something doesn't seem right, reach out.

 RiverView Health and the RiverView Foundation are working to get the important T.E.A.L. message out to the community with the help of a memorial donation given in memory of Ellen Beggs, who passed away after a short, courageous battle with ovarian cancer on March 8th, 2016.
Paint it Teal – Free Painting Party Offered

 A special teal-themed painting party will be held Saturday, Sept. 16th near the gazebo at the University of Minnesota-Crookston during the West Polk Relay for Life event. The 7 pm “Painting with Raylene” event is free and open to the first 24 people who register with RiverView Health at 218-281-9745.

 Throughout the month, you will also notice teal shoelaces on athletes participating in Crookston Pirate athletics. The message “Tie it Teal’’ is in cooperation with the Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance. You may also notice student athletes wearing teal t-shirts given to them last year through the Foundation’s ovarian cancer awareness campaign.

“I believe the student athletes who continue to wear these special t-shirts are raising the awareness of the female student body, athletes and those they encounter in the community,’’ shared Foundation Director Kent Bruun. “This partnership and these charitable dollars impact the future health of females which is a powerful, life changing gift. “Bruun credits Ellen’s husband, Randy Beggs, with empowering the female athletes and their friends and family members with the means to spread the word about signs and symptoms to watch for regarding ovarian cancer.

“With Randy’s support we will create a more meaningful message of ‘why’ we need to take positive action with our health; for ourselves and our families,’’ Bruun shared.

The Foundation is also thankful for a grant from the Minnesota Fraternal Order of Eagles’ Art Ehrmann Cancer Fund that is being used to sustain RiverView’s awareness program to educate the community of the symptoms of ovarian cancer, explore new diagnostic methods and secure equipment, supplies, and educational materials.

Statistics, Symptoms
Ovarian cancer is one of the most deadly of women's cancers. It ranks fifth in cancer deaths among women. The World Health Organization estimates that there are over 238,000 new cases diagnosed annually and nearly 152,000 deaths worldwide.

This cancer typically occurs in women in their fifties and sixties with the median age being 63. Many women who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer have a genetic history of ovarian cancer. Unfortunately many women don't seek help until the disease has begun to spread, but if detected at its earliest stage, the five-year survival rate is more than 93%. The symptoms of ovarian cancer are often subtle and easily confused with other ailments.

Symptoms may include:
• Bloating
• Pelvic or abdominal pain
• Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly
• Urinary urgency or frequency
• Nausea, indigestion, gas, constipation or diarrhea
• Extreme fatigue
• Shortness of breath
• Backaches
• Weight gain

For more information on the T.E.A.L. campaign, contact Bruun at 218-281-9249 or kbruun@riverviewhealth.org. For concerns regarding ovarian cancer, contact your provider or make an appointment with Dr. Kari Wessman, RiverView gynecologist, at 218-281-9595.

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