NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – Discovery To Cure program has made it their mission to raise awareness and funding and treatment of women’s reproductive cancers. New 8’s own Renee Chmiel, a breast cancer survivor, will be taking part in the Beverly Levy Discovery To Cure Walk.
The Beverly Levy Discovery to Cure Walk has been taking place every year since 2013. Beverly Levy was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2010 and passed away in 2013. She started the walk right before she passed away.
There is no screening method for early detection for ovarian cancer. The symptoms of the disease are vague, and are not always gynecologic. “Normally women get diagnosed at about age 50-ish or 60-ish, so that’s right when they’re going through menopause and a lot of the symptoms replicate that,” said Perri Levy, Beverly Levy’s daughter and the Discovery To Cure Program Assistant.
Ovarian cancer has always been thought of as a symptomless disease but research has shown this to be untrue. There are symptoms, unfortunately they may be so subtle that they are attributed to other benign conditions.
Symptoms include a swollen or bloated abdomen, increased girth. Some women notice that their pants or skirts are getting tight around the waist. The bloating is a sign that fluid, called ascites, is building up in the abdominal cavity in later stage disease. Other symptoms include persistent pressure or pain in the abdomen or pelvis, difficulty eating or feeling full quickly, urinary concerns, such as urgency or frequency, a change in bowel habits with new onset constipation and/or diarrhea and unexplained vaginal bleeding.
The Ovarian Cancer National Alliance conducted a survey in which 89% of women were unaware of ovarian cancer symptoms before being diagnosed. However, 81% of the respondents realize in hindsight that symptoms existed before diagnosis, with these symptoms being confused with irritable bowel syndrome, pre-menopause, stress, acid reflux, endometriosis, gall bladder issues or other ailments.
Correct diagnoses occur only slightly more often than incorrect diagnoses. Only 59% of women are correctly diagnosed, but at least 41% of women are treated for other conditions before being diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
The walk will take place this Sunday on September 25th at Yale Commons.
Register for the walk at www.discoverytocure.yale.edu