The following is a guest post by Karen Orloff Kaplan the CEO of the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance.

TEAL is on trend this September. Not only is teal a top fashion color for fall 2011, it’s the color of ovarian cancer awareness—and September is national ovarian cancer awareness month. Here’s how you can help raise awareness of this disease.

To support ovarian cancer awareness you can get involved in the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance’s United States of Teal campaign. The goal of the campaign is to have every state in America teal—which happens when state legislators pledge their support for ovarian cancer awareness. Twenty-four states are already teal—visit www.unitedstatesofteal.org to see if your state supports women with ovarian cancer.

The website also shows how you can contact your state legislators and urge them to pledge their support to the ovarian cancer community. We need your help to raise awareness of the symptoms, and expand federal research to improve treatments and support the development of a desperately needed screening test.

In 2011, more than 21,000 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer and 15,000 will die from the disease. If ovarian cancer is treated before it has spread outside the ovary, the five-year survival rate is 93 percent. Tragically, only 19 percent of ovarian cancers are found at such an early stage, which is why it is so important to make women aware of the potential warning signs.

There is no screening test for ovarian cancer, so the Alliance stresses that “until there’s a test, awareness is best.” The symptoms of ovarian cancer are vague and often confused with other medical conditions. Experts recommend that women see a gynecologist if they experience any of the following symptoms for more than a few weeks:

  • bloating
  • pelvic or abdominal pain
  • difficulty eating or feeling full quickly, and
  • frequent or urgent need to urinate.

You can also show your support for women with ovarian cancer by wearing teal on Friday, September 2. Wear Teal Day helps raise awareness of this deadly disease.

To learn more about the United States of Teal campaign, visit www.unitedstatesofteal.org. For more information about ovarian cancer or the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, visit www.ovariancancer.org.

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