© Ashley Thompson
Cheryl Barker gets to work promoting the upcoming Ovarian Cancer Canada Walk of Hope in Windsor.
The largest walk in the country dedicated to overcoming ovarian cancer is coming to Windsor in September.
Windsor residents Cheryl Barker and Leslie Porter are leading the charge for the fourth annual Ovarian Cancer Canada Walk of Hope in town. The 2.4-kilometre trek around the Windsor-Falmouth waterfront, slated for 1 p.m. Sept. 8, is a fundraiser for Ovarian Cancer Canada.
Ovarian Cancer Canada uses donations collected at the nation-wide walks to assist women and families affected by the disease, raise awareness of the vague signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer and fund research that may lead to the development of an early detection method, more effective treatments or, in an ideal world, a cure.
Barker, a retired nurse, was instrumental in bringing the Walk of Hope to Windsor. She hopes the walks will lead to more women — of all ages — in Hants County becoming aware of the realities of the merciless disease.
“It’s important for them not to overlook symptoms. They have to know their body and if there’s changes, don’t underestimate them,” she stressed.
Early detection is key, but it’s not easy.
Barker says the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer — gas, bloating, a change in the bowels or feeling of fullness — can be mistake for everyday ailments.
“It’s often referred to as the overlooked and undiagnosed woman’s cancer.”
There is no proven screening test for ovarian cancer, but a factsheet released by Ovarian Cancer Canada says women experiencing what is believed to be a sign or symptom of ovarian cancer for more than three weeks should ask a doctor about a pelvic exam, a transvaginal ultrasound and a CA-125 blood test.
That same factsheet says the survival rate for ovarian cancer detected early can be as high as 90 per cent, while the five-year survival rate for ovarian cancer detected in the late stages can be as low as 20 per cent.
Registration for the Ovarian Cancer Canada Walk of Hope in Windsor begins at 12:15 p.m., rain or shine, on Sept. 8, at the Pisiquid Canoe Club. Call Cheryl Barker at (902) 798-8144 or Leslie Porter at (902) 798-8936 for sponsor sheets and additional information. Visit ovariancancercanadawalkofhope.ca to learn more about ovarian cancer.
Walk participants will be entered in a draw for a queen-sized, Sealy box spring and mattress donated by Windsor Home Hardware/Home Furniture.
If one or more of the following signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer persist for more than three weeks, it’s time to get checked by a doctor:
– swelling or bloating of the abdomen
– pelvic or abdominal pain
– difficulty eating or feeling full quickly
– frequent or urgent urination
– gas, nausea, indigestion
– menstrual irregularities
– weight loss or weight gain
– change in bowel habits
– back pain
Source: Factsheet prepared by Ovarian Cancer Canada