World Ovarian Cancer Day Date in the current year: May 8, 2024

World Ovarian Cancer Day World Ovarian Cancer Day is observed annually on May 8. Established in 2013 by a group of ovarian cancer advocates, it aims to raise public awareness of this type of cancer and to unite people in solidarity in the fight against the disease.

Ovarian cancer is one of the five main types of gynecologic (female) cancer, along with cervical, uterine, vaginal, and vulvar. It involves abnormal cell growth that starts in or on an ovary and has the potential to spread to other organs.

Despite accounting for a relatively small percentage of all female cancers, ovarian cancer has the lowest survival rate because its early signs and symptoms are often absent or very vague and there is no simple and reliable way to test for this type of cancer in women who are not showing any signs or symptoms. As a result, ovarian cancer is typically diagnosed at advanced stages.

The early symptoms of ovarian cancer include bloating, pain in the pelvis or abdomen, back pain, irregular menstruation, diarrhea, constipation, fatigue, loss of appetite, heartburn, indigestion, feeling full, nausea, and pain or bleeding during or after vaginal sex. Due to the symptoms being non-specific, ovarian cancer is often mistaken for other diseases, such as irritable bowel syndrome.

The risk of ovarian cancer depends on the amount of time spent menstruating. Thus, risk factors for the disease are not having children, early first menstruation, and late menopause. Other risk factors include hormone replacement therapy, fertility medication, obesity, a family history of ovarian cancer, and age (ovarian cancer is typically diagnosed around the age of 63).

The treatment of ovarian cancer usually involves surgery; depending on the extent of cancer, the surgeon may remove one or both ovaries, and sometimes also the Fallopian tubes and uterus. To treat any residual disease, chemotherapy may be used after surgery.

Sadly, as we’ve already mentioned above, ovarian cancer is disproportionately deadly due to typically being diagnosed at advanced stages and frequently recurring after treatment. This is why it is so important to spread awareness of this type of cancer and encourage women to pay attention to seemingly innocuous symptoms.

World Ovarian Cancer Day was initiated by a group of leaders from ovarian cancer advocacy organizations in 2013. Today, the awareness campaign is coordinated by the World Ovarian Cancer Coalition and is supported by about 200 organizations from different countries. Every year, the campaign reaches millions of people from dozens of countries. For example, the 2021 World Ovarian Cancer Day awareness campaign was supported by organizations from 45 different countries and reached more than 18 million people.

The easiest way to participate in World Ovarian Cancer Day is to spread the word on social media, using the hashtag #WorldOvarianCancerDay and encouraging others to raise awareness of the disease. Every social media post, like and share helps to get the message out there and save a life. You can also wear a teal awareness ribbon, which represents ovarian cancer, among other causes.

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