BOCA RATON, Fla--Ovarian cancer survivors have formed the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (NOCC), an organization whose main mission is to prevent deaths from ovarian cancer by advocating for the development of new techniques for early detection and by raising awareness levels about the disease.
As part of its national outreach, NOCC has established a toll-free line (1-888-OVARIAN) for women who have been affected by ovarian cancer, including newly diagnosed women, survivors, family members, and the medical community. NOCC serves as a resource and referral center for information about ovarian cancer, and actively hosts educational seminars in the community.
Although there is no universally accepted screening method for ovarian cancer, there are tests and procedures that may help detect it early. NOCC uses the slogan "Ovarian Cancer: It Whispers . . . so Listen" to encourage women and physicians to take advantage of these tools, including an annual bimanual rectovag-inal pelvic examination.
"If an irregularity is found, the patient should be given a transvaginal ultrasound and the CA125 test. If one of these proves positive, she needs to see a gynecologic oncologist for further study," said Gail Hayward, founder and president.