September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

While it isn't the most common cancer, ovarian cancer's subtle symptoms make it deadly.

Clad in teal, woman are dressed to celebrate a special tea in the Governor's Mansion.  But the brightly-colored dresses and shirts are more than just eye catching, it the color chosen to represent ovarian cancer.

"It's really given a group who didn't have a voice before some place they can speak out and share," said LSU Softball Coach Beth Torina.

Survivors and supporters, all the women are a part of the Geaux Teal Foundation, a group founded to educate women about the risks and symptoms of ovarian cancer.

Ovarian cancer usually affects older women, but the truth is, it can develop at any age. That's why this group of women met meeting Tuesday to bring awareness to every mother, every sister and friend.

"It wasn't really something that I was aware of," said Kelsey White. "I'm a young woman. This disease is typically one of older women so I really didn't think this would be it."

At 26, White is an ovarian cancer survivor.  She was diagnosed just two years ago.

"I was having cramps and I thought it was due to just womanly problems and I sort of collapsed on the ground. I went to the emergency room and I ended up having to have an emergency surgery," said White

Symptoms include stomach and back pain, bloating, changes in bathroom habits, and feeling full quickly while eating.

"Right now there's not a good screening test for ovarian cancers, like pap smears for cervical disblasia. There aren't any vaccines," said Dr. Giles Fort.

If the cancer is caught early, as in Kelsey's case, it is very treatable.  That's why the women of Geaux Teal and doctors want to make sure women are aware of their bodies, as well as to have a good relationship with their doctor, discussing any concerns - no matter how small.

"There's always more tests that can be done and more evaluations," said Dr. Fort.

Women are at higher risk if they have a family history of ovarian cancer.

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