Losing my sister to ovarian cancer has made me an advocate for change. I don't want other sisters, mothers, daughters or friends to face this deadly disease. That is why I'm committed to raising awareness and funds for research and education through the Laura Mercier Ovarian Cancer Fund (LMOCF).
For the second year, World Ovarian Cancer Day will be observed on May 8, 2014. Last year, ovarian cancer groups from around the world joined forces on this day to raise awareness and educate women about the symptoms. It is exciting to see even more organizations from countries as divergent as the U.S., Russia, and Japan, just to name a few, come together to spread the word about a disease that has been in the shadows for too long. For the first time, I feel that real change is happening. We're starting to build the momentum we need to improve the odds for women, who are all too often on the losing side when facing this indiscriminate killer.
Ovarian cancer still has the lowest survival rate of all gynecological cancers. According to the American Cancer Society, every year about a quarter of a million women around the world are diagnosed: 140,000 women. The high mortality rate is the result of two factors: a widespread lack of awareness and the absence of early screening tests.
We can change the statistics if we change those factors. And that's why World Ovarian Cancer Day is so important. It's an opportunity for ovarian cancer awareness groups, physicians and researchers, as well as families and friends of patients to shine a spotlight on this disease and inspire others to get involved.
Here are four things you can do right now in observance of World Ovarian Cancer Day:
1. Educate yourself about the disease-- Most women don't know the symptoms or risk factors. If you have symptoms or a family history of the disease, talk to a doctor. Don't wait; the earlier ovarian cancer is diagnosed, the better the prognosis. To learn about the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer, please visit Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center's website.
2. Spread the word-- Talk to your friends and family members about what you've learned. You can join the Speak Out for Hope conversation online by following @LauraMercier on Twitter and Instagram and use #LMOCF, #SpeakOutForHope to support this important cause. Visit the Stories of Hope Gallery on the Laura Mercier Facebook page for inspiring messages from our community.
3. Support the cause-- You can help LMOCF continue to raise awareness and fund research and educational efforts by making a donation. All funds go to programs that help diagnose, treat and support women with ovarian cancer. Beneficiaries include Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Cancer and Careers, The Laura Lia Murray Ovarian Cancer Fund to support key programs at Memorial Cancer Institute (Florida), Ovarian Cancer Canada, Ovarian Cancer Action (UK) and Fonds por la Soins Palliatifs (France).
4. Shop for the cause-- Laura Mercier cosmetics donates 100 percent of the profits from the sale of Bonne Mine Healthy Glow for Face & Cheeks Creme Colour Palette directly to the Fund today and every day.
Together, we can make a real difference and change the future for all women diagnosed with ovarian cancer.