October 3, 2008

National Ovarian Cancer Coalition Applauds Approval of Increased Funds to Department of Defense Ovarian Cancer Research Program

DALLAS, Oct. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- On September 30, 2008, President Bush signed a funding measure that earmarked $20 million for the Department of Defense (DoD) Ovarian Cancer Research Program in FY 2009 -- a landmark occasion for members of the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (NOCC) and the ovarian cancer community who have been advocating for an increase in funding from the $10 million allocated in recent years.

NOCC Massachusetts Chapter President Barbara O'Brien, an ovarian cancer survivor, was one of many NOCC members petitioning for an increase in ovarian cancer funding to help improve the low survival rate of patients through research focused on early detection, screening and treatment.

"Because there is no screening tool available, an estimated 75 percent of patients are not diagnosed in the early stages," said O'Brien. "In addition to improving early diagnosis, the increase in funding is critical to the research and discovery of new and effective treatment options for women with ovarian cancer."

Ovarian cancer is the leading killer among women's reproductive cancers. This year alone, more than 20,000 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer and more than 15,000 will die from it. Nevertheless, only 15 percent of women are familiar with the symptoms, and 82 percent have never talked to their doctor about the symptoms and risk factors of the disease, according to NOCC's "Break the Silence" survey of more than 1,000 women.

Ovarian Cancer Symptoms and Risk Factors

In June 2007, NOCC, along with the Gynecologic Cancer Foundation and other national organizations announced the first national consensus on ovarian cancer symptoms. Women who have the following symptoms almost daily for more than a few weeks should see their gynecologist and ask for a rectovaginal exam and transvaginal ultrasound.

   The symptoms include:    -- Bloating   -- Pelvic or abdominal pain   -- Trouble eating or feeling full quickly   -- Feeling the need to urinate urgently or often    

Common risk factors of the disease include genetic predisposition, personal or family history of breast, ovarian or colon cancer, increasing age and undesired infertility. If a woman's risk factors fit any of these criteria, she should proactively inform her doctor.

About National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (NOCC)

Since its inception in 1995, the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (NOCC) has been committed to raising awareness of ovarian cancer in communities across the country through education and support. As the first and only national ovarian cancer organization with a network of more than 80 Chapters throughout the United States, NOCC has established itself as the leading advocate for patients and families struggling with ovarian cancer. Committed volunteers work together to advance NOCC's mission through a toll-free Help Line, comprehensive web site, peer support, professional education, the promotion of research, publications and Break the Silence, a national education program to facilitate greater awareness and dialogue about ovarian cancer. For more information about the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, visit http://www.ovarian.org/ or call 1-888-OVARIAN.

The National Ovarian Cancer Coalition is a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization that provides help and hope about ovarian cancer with public education and awareness, state divisions, a toll-free Help Line, comprehensive web site, peer support, publications and special projects. The National Ovarian Cancer Coalition's mission is to raise awareness and promote education about ovarian cancer. The Coalition is committed to improving the survival rate and quality of life for women with ovarian cancer. For more information on the "Break the Silence" campaign and to contact one of the local NOCC local divisions, visit http://www.ovarian.org/ or call 1-888-OVARIAN.

National Ovarian Cancer Coalition

CONTACT: Tracy Naden of WeissComm Partners,+1-212-301-7206, [email protected], for National Ovarian Cancer Coalition

Web site: http://www.ovarian.org/