'Turn the Towns Teal' campaign launches on DI to promote ovarian cancer awareness
Of all the cancers out there, ovarian cancer is one of the toughest to diagnose. It ranks fifth in cancer deaths among women, according to the American Cancer Society. Each year, there are over 22,000 new cases of the disease – and more than 14,000 deaths.
There is no early detection test for ovarian cancer, which makes awareness about its symptoms critically important. In fact, in many cases, knowledge of the condition can help save your life – or the life of someone you love. That was certainly the case for Daniel Island resident Linda Carmain, who has been an ovarian cancer survivor for nine years running. Initially diagnosed with stage 2C, Carmain was fortunate enough to beat the disease. And she is working diligently to ensure others do, too.
“Timing is everything,” said Carmain. “The earlier you can get a diagnosis the better.”
Carmain is a volunteer with the Lowcountry Chapter of the South Carolina Ovarian Cancer Foundation (SCOCF), an organization that is a partner in the national “Turn the Towns Teal” campaign. The initiative takes place in September, which has been designated as Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Under Carmain’s leadership, the campaign launched on Daniel Island over the weekend with the placement of teal ribbons and swags at the intersection of Daniel Island Drive and Seven Farms Drive.
“You can participate in this national awareness campaign to ‘Turn the Towns Teal’ by hanging a teal ribbon cancer swag on your door in honor of or in memory of a relative or friend who has coped with ovarian cancer,” stated Carmain.
Daniel Island businesses can also request swags, she added. All are free and are available by calling Carmain at (843) 990-8705 or emailing her at DITealSwag@gmail.com.
Carmain hopes the teal ribbons will serve as a reminder to community members to pay attention to their health and anything that “just feels different.”
“Over a ten year period, about 70 percent of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer will not survive,” added Carmain. “This is because most women are not diagnosed until an advanced stage; ovarian cancer is often called the ‘silent killer.’”
Symptoms for ovarian cancer often imitate common conditions experienced by many women, such as bloating, a change in bowel habits, indigestion, nausea, a feeling of fullness, abdominal or pelvic pain, and fatigue.
“The symptoms are so nondescript,” Carmain continued. “Women need to be persistent in following up with their physicians…The majority of women are older and so some of these symptoms are sort of like menopause and get dismissed, but it can happen to younger people. One of the young women in our organization was diagnosed at 18. It’s not that it can’t happen.”
“Until there is a test,” states the SCOCF, “awareness is best.”
Look for the teal swag and pick up a symptom/risk card at the Daniel Island Property Owners Association office or a participating store or business.