University hosts luncheon to raise awareness for ovarian cancer

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    Although they may not be as recognizable as the pink ribbons worn to support breast cancer, teal ribbons represent the fifth leading cause of death for women — ovarian cancer.

    In order to increase awareness of ovarian cancer, TCU’s Oncology Education and Research Center and Human Resources Department sponsored a luncheon Wednesday to distribute information regarding the disease.

    The luncheon began with Suzy Lockwood, a nursing professor and director of the university's Center of Oncology Education and Research center. She presented a power point to the guests filled with information about ovarian cancer.

    The room in the Dee J. Kelly Alumni Center was filled with women interested in learning more about the deadly disease.

    Lockwood covered the basics of ovarian cancer, including the anatomy of the ovaries, risk factors, prevention, symptoms, screening, treatment and survival. 

    Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of death in women and has a very low survival rate, Lockwood said. The symptoms are common and women tend to ignore them.

    “I wanted to do everything I could to make sure that women are aware of what the symptoms are,” Lockwood said. “They can be their own advocates and go to a physician to be seen and educated about what they need to be watching for.”

    Lucy Ortiz, a housekeeper for Housing & Residential Services, attended the luncheon because she wanted to learn more about ovarian cancer.  Ortiz had never heard about this particular cancer, and said she is now better informed regarding the symptoms and signs necessary for early detection.

    The Rev. Susan Gary is the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition’s Dallas/Fort Worth chapter manager.  Gary said she wanted to hold the luncheon to broaden opportunities for education so that more women are aware and more lives can be saved.

    “Ovarian cancer is not a disease that affects just a certain population of women," Gary said. “It affects everybody, from housekeepers to professors.”

    This Saturday at 7:30 a.m., at the ballpark in Arlington, the Dallas/Fort Worth chapter is sponsoring their 12th annual walk for ovarian cancer awareness.  Registration is open and will be available until the walk begins.