About 20,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer this year, and nearly 13,000 will die.1 Because there are no early detection tests for ovarian cancer, STAAR Ovarian Cancer Foundation is urging people to learn the most common symptoms, with the hope that earlier diagnosis will lead to increased survival.
Launched in September for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, STAAR’s Step Up America for Ovarian Cancer campaign is raising awareness about low-grade serous ovarian cancer (LGSOC).Ovarian Cancer Symptom Tracker
LGSOC is a rare subtype of ovarian cancer, making up fewer than 10% of ovarian cancer cases.2 Research shows that younger people are particularly at risk of delayed diagnosis, given a common misperception that regular pelvic exams and Pap smears can detect ovarian cancer.3 Ovarian cancer is often overlooked as a possibility when doctors examine younger women with symptoms because of their age.
Step Up America aims to empower women, including younger women, to be more proactive in their health, encouraging them to visit an online symptom checker to learn more about ovarian cancer symptoms and speak with their doctor as needed.
“Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer-related death among women, with almost 13,000 women dying of ovarian cancer this year1,” said gynecologic oncologist, Dr. David Gershenson, a leading researcher of ovarian cancer. “Unfortunately, mortality rates for this cancer have declined only slightly in the past four decades4, underscoring the urgent need to raise awareness of the disease and screen as soon as symptoms are detected for earlier diagnosis and in turn, potentially improved survival rates.”
Members of the ovarian cancer community nationwide are holding awareness events all month long as part the Step Up America campaign. Ovarian cancer survivors and their friends and family are encouraged to “Step Up” to organize walks, runs, hikes, bike rides, picnics, fitness classes, paddles, wine tastings and more. Events also are being organized on university and college campuses.
“It is important that we raise awareness about what ovarian cancer is, including rarer forms including low-grade serous ovarian cancer, and its symptoms, so that women know the signs of this disease,” said Dr. Rachel N. Grisham, section head of Ovarian Cancer for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) and the Director of Gynecologic Medical Oncology at MSK Westchester. “It is equally important that women be aware of their family history and empowered to seek out genetic counseling, as early intervention can help to prevent the development of certain types of inherited cancers before they start.”
Founded in 2020 by three women with LGSOC and run entirely by volunteers, STAAR is the only U.S.-based nonprofit focused solely on advancing LGSOC awareness, education and research opportunities in the United States to find better treatment options.
Campaign activities focused on low-grade serous ovarian cancer awareness and education were made possible with support from Verastem Oncology.
For more information, visit the campaign website here.