Zereana Jess-Huff, Mrs. Maryland 2014, and recent Ovarian Cancer survivor, seeks to educate others about the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer. “It’s time for us to think outside of the bra and expand our understanding of ALL women’s health issues.” Zereana, the current CEO of a managed behavioral health organization, has spent her year raising awareness and advancing the movement to save women’s lives. “With this disease it can be a race against the clock where early diagnosis can make all the difference between life and death.”
Ovarian cancer continues to be the deadliest of all gynecological cancers. According to the American Cancer Society, a woman’s risk of getting ovarian cancer in her lifetime is approximately 1 in 71. This year it is estimated that 21,980 women will receive a new diagnosis of ovarian cancer and 14,270 will die. “Ovarian cancer is more than a woman’s disease”, says David Barley, Chief Executive Officer of The National Ovarian Cancer Coalition. “We see families torn apart with the loss of a mother, wife, sister, daughter, grandmother.”
There is no test to detect ovarian cancer; a pap test does not detect the disease. There are symptoms, which are mostly subtle, that can mimic symptoms of unrelated conditions. For these reasons, ovarian cancer has been termed ‘the silent killer’. Symptoms of ovarian cancer include bloating, pelvic pain, feeling full quickly, and frequent urination. Signs can also include fatigue, upset stomach, back pain, constipation and menstrual changes. Women who experience symptoms that persist for more than two weeks should see their doctor and a gynecologic oncologist if ovarian cancer is suspected.
Please join Zereana, and others, at the NOCC Central MD Chapter’s 5th Annual 5KRun/3KWalk , and help Break the Silence on Ovarian Cancer, on Sunday, September 21, outside at Westfield Annapolis Mall. Come hear Zereana as she shares her story and delivers her message of awareness and education about the disease. For details about the event, including registration information, please go to: www.nocc.kintera.org/mdcentral