It’s 15 years this month since my husband’s family lost an incredibly beautiful and amazing woman. My mother-in-law was just 54 (the same age I am right now) when she died from the insidious disease that is ovarian cancer. Fifteen years on, there is still no early detection test for this cancer and that’s why I’d love you to get behind Frocktober.
Frocktober raises funds for the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation (OCRF) which uses the money raised to help fund some of Australia’s leading researchers in the fight against ovarian cancer.
We need this research to continue. Ovarian cancer is the most lethal gynaecological cancer.
We need an early detection test so that women don’t find themselves getting a diagnosis at Stage 3 or 4, when sadly it’s often too late.
Here are some sobering stats*:
- Each year about 1800 women are diagnosed with with ovarian cancer
- Proportionally, more women die from ovarian cancer than breast cancer, because it is usually diagnosed in its advanced stages
- Only 20% of women diagnosed at a late stage will survive more than five years
- If a woman is diagnosed at Stage 1 (while the cancer is localised), then her survival rates are over 90%
Here’s the thing, ovarian cancer is not cervical cancer. You can’t detect it with a pap smear. Abnormalities can be detected through scans but the only way to confirm a diagnosis is by taking a biopsy during surgery and looking at the cells under a microscope.
The OCRF strongly supports the development of a highly accurate, non-invasive and inexpensive early detection test that should then form part of every woman’s annual health check-up, like cervical cancer screening tests and mammograms.
The causes of ovarian cancer are unknown. Risk factors include age, reproductive history, having endometriosis, and lifestyle and hormonal factors.
Symptoms can be vague and things that we often feel on any given day: discomfort or pain in the abdomen or pelvis; feeling swollen or bloated; appetite loss or feeling full quickly; tiredness, and unexplained changes in weight, are often attributed to other gastrointestinal problems or common female complaints.
This month, the Frocktober Frockers are out in force, frocking up until October 31 to raise research funds and awareness about ovarian cancer. I chatted on IGTV with Marilyn Steel about why Frocktober is important to her (watch below). You can follow Marilyn at @fashiontragic and her fundraising page is HERE.
Other Frockers to follow in Frocktober (and donate to where you can)
@prettychuffed – donate HERE (this is Jasmine’s 10th year participating in Frocktober)
@kimbalikes – donate HERE (this is Kim-Marie’s 10th year participating in Frocktober)
@sarahlight26 – donate HERE
@loveyourovaries – donate HERE (Graham lost his wife Lisa 12 months ago and is wearing a dress every day this month to raise money in her honour)
@fashforward_au – donate HERE
If you are also on Instagram and participating in Frocktober, please send me a DM – or leave a link in the comments below. I’ll add you to this post.
For more about Frocktober, click HERE
*Source: Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation