If you’re living with ovarian cancer, you’re already aware of the impact the condition can have on your life — but chances are strong that other people in your orbit don’t know as much as they could about the disease. That’s why it’s important to raise awareness for the condition — particularly in September, which is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.
It can be hard when your friends and family don’t know what you’re going through. It can also feel difficult to say no to loved ones who don’t understand your situation, because you might worry about how your relationships will be affected.
Raising awareness about ovarian cancer is important so your friends, family, and acquaintances can better understand how to support you.
Before you can create public awareness by sharing information with others, it’s a good idea to understand the specifics about ovarian cancer. Learn more about ovarian cancer’s causes, signs and symptoms, and treatments.
Over 21,000 people in the United States are expected to receive an ovarian cancer diagnosis in 2021. This number has been slowly decreasing over the past few decades. Studies have found that women in the U.S. have about a 1 in 78 chance of developing ovarian cancer at some point in their lives. However, certain factors may increase or decrease each person’s individual risk.
Like all cancer, ovarian cancer is caused by genetic mutations that cause cells to become abnormal and disorganized. Some genetic mutations are passed down through families. Up to 1 in 4 cases of ovarian cancer are caused by these inherited mutations.
After you’re armed with information about ovarian cancer, you can share it with others. The fastest and least expensive way for this kind of advocacy is through social media. You can post information about ovarian cancer, share details about the condition, and join communities of other people who are also working to raise awareness about ovarian cancer.
For more in-depth information, you can find informational resources from the American Cancer Society about key ovarian cancer statistics and ovarian cancer causes, risks, and prevention. You can also share this informational video from the National Cancer Institute.
To ensure your messages on social media reach as many people as possible, consider using an appropriate ovarian cancer-related hashtag, like #ovariancancer, #ocam, or #ocrahope. This way, your posts will be seen by more people who have the same interests, and they’re more likely to share and comment.
Social media helps raise awareness for the condition, and it also allows other people with ovarian cancer to realize they aren’t alone. Joining a social network for people with ovarian cancer, such as MyOvarianCancerTeam, can also help you connect with others.
Another way to raise awareness about ovarian cancer is to participate in an activity dedicated to the cause. You can walk or run for ovarian cancer, play bingo, host a silent auction or fundraiser, or even create a unique event that works for your interests. You can help other people understand more about ovarian cancer while having fun and raising money for the cause.
If you have money to spare, consider donating to organizations like the American Cancer Society, which allows for further research into ways to better treat and manage the condition.
In addition, remember to engage in self-care. It is emotionally taxing to educate others about your lived experiences, so know your limits and accept when to put your mental well-being first.
On MyOvarianCancerTeam, more than 2,200 people living with ovarian cancer come together to ask questions, give advice, and share their stories with others who understand life with the condition.
Share your ovarian cancer journey in the comments below, or start a conversation by posting on your Activities page.
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