In contrast to the heavy air surrounding South Carolina politics in recent months, a van-load of colorful Monarch butterflies flew over the Statehouse Tuesday evening.
The annual butterfly release is sponsored by the South Carolina Ovarian Cancer Foundation.
Jane Williams directs the organization. She says ovarian cancer affects one in 72 women, but is usually more dangerous than breast or some other types of cancer. “It’s more deadl because it’s usually detected in later stages. The disease has whispering symptoms, including fatique, adominal pain, back pain, bloating and feeling full when you haven’t eaten much.”
Each year, more than 20,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer and 15,000 die from it. Williams emphasizes that a woman’s chance of survival is much better if the cancer if found early.
September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.
Williams encourages women to have regular medical checkups. Ovarian cancer affects women of all ages but is most prominent in women over age 50. “It’s a harder disease to detect and there is no screening test. If there’s a history of ovarian cancer or breast cancer in a woman’s family, she really needs to stay tuned into her body.”
Williams emphasizes that while a Pap smear is an important test for cervical cancer, it does not detect ovarian cancer.