Ovarian Cancer - Facts All Women Should Know

"This is an important initiative for us, as a women's organization, to undertake. Simply put, awareness about ovarian cancer will save lives - that is our goal."
-National Philoptochos President Aphrodite Skeadas 

In the September/October issue of the Philanthropy Witness we announced a grant that was awarded to National Philoptochos from the HERA Women's Cancer Foundation towards disseminating bilingual information about the risks and symptoms of ovarian cancer. Philoptochos efforts were to focus on reaching out to women and their families who are unwilling or unable to access mainstream services due to language and/or cultural barriers.

Paulette Geanacopoulous, National Philoptochos' Director of Social Work, who wrote the proposal and the Ovarian Cancer Fact Sheets in Greek and English said, "Unlike other gender-based cancers, there is no one reliable early detection test for ovarian cancer. Consequently, we must know and recognize its symptoms so that we can act quickly and appropriately."

Is it an ovarian cyst or ovarian cancer?

Is it an abdominal condition or ovarian cancer?

Is it constipation or ovarian cancer?

OVARIAN CANCER is a deadly disease that kills more women than all other reproductive cancers combined. Because it is hard to detect - there is no one reliable test to identify it - and as some of its symptoms are similar to other conditions, it is important to recognize it signs so that we can act quickly and appropriately. As a women's organization, it is equally important for us to "get the word out" - to our mothers, aunts, and grandmothers, to our daughters, neighbors, and friends so that they know what to look for. To help you do so, we have prepared an "Ovarian Cancer Fact Sheet" - both in Greek and in English.

We urge you to take one or more of the actions to broadly distribute these Fact Sheets throughout your Chapter, Parish and community-at-large:

  • Ask your priest to include both in your Sunday Bulletin
  • Distribute copies to the organizations in your Church, including the Parish Council, GOYA, Greek and Sunday Schools, parent organizations, senior citizen groups, etc.
  • Post both Fact Sheets in the women's rooms of your Church.
  • Place both Fact Sheets in a public area of your Church. 
  • Ask a local newspaper to publish the Fact Sheets and ask the local "health editor" to write an article on ovarian cancer.
  • Invite a gynecological oncologist from a local hospital or cancer society to one of your general meetings to give a presentation on ovarian cancer.
  • Use your imagination - what else works in your community to get the word out?