Ovarian cancer is one of the deadliest cancers affecting women today. Out of all cancers of the reproductive system, it’s the one most likely to end in fatality. About 1 out of 75 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer during her lifetime, and 1 out of 100 will die from the disease. With just a cursory glance at the statistics, it’s easy to conclude that ovarian cancer is a serious threat which must be addressed.
The battle against all forms of cancer, ovarian cancer included, is always a multifaceted fight that includes research about the nature of the disease, working to develop new and more successful treatment methods, and raising awareness about the signs and symptoms of the disease in order to promote early detection.
There isn’t one single action or approach to fighting cancer, and there isn’t just one entity working to end the disease either. We’ve collected profiles of some prominent organizations working to end ovarian cancer through research and awareness.
Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance
Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance or ORCFA has been funding research to develop new treatment methods and end ovarian cancer since 1998. In the span of only 19 years, ORCFA has contributed over $75 million to research projects designed to end ovarian cancer. At ORCFA, they really work to try and beat ovarian cancer at its source. While their mission makes it clear that ovarian cancer and the fight against it is not a small issue, they are trying to end the disease at its root and not just provide a short-term Band-Aid.
Most of ORCFA’s efforts can be categorized into three different categories.
First, they use their resources to fund research projects that will enhance the medical community’s understanding of ovarian cancer. Through a better understanding of the disease, medical professionals will better be able to diagnose it at earlier stages and to discover more successful treatment methods.
Second, ORCFA uses its network to foster community among ovarian cancer victims and survivors. They connect women who are battling or have battled the disease in order to provide the emotional support needed during treatment.
Third, ORCFA works hard to educate the public about ovarian cancer. They believe that through education the battle against ovarian cancer will be more successful. Since their inception, ORCFA has been a global leader in the fight against ovarian cancer, and they’re committed to continuing that fight into the future.
Read more about ORCFA at their website.
Foundation for Women’s Cancer
The Foundation for Women’s Cancer takes a slightly broader approach to cancer treatment than some organizations that are dedicated solely to ovarian cancer, but their work is still incredibly important. At their basic level, the mission of the Foundation for Women’s Cancer is pretty simple: to win the fight against all gynecological cancers. While this may be a simple goal, the Foundation recognizes that it’s certainly not easy.
You can check out the Foundation’s more detailed plain for the next few years on their website, but essentially, they are working on a variety of initiatives designed to educate the public about gynecological cancers. They provide both information about spotting cancers early as well as providing venues for cancer survivors to share their stories and experiences as a means of inspiration and empowerment. Additionally, the Foundation for Women’s cancer raises funds to contribute to scientific research projects that will shed light on the nature of gynecological cancers and provide a starting point for developing successful treatment methods. Their long-term goals include supporting the ongoing eradication of gynecological cancers through research as well as establishing the foundation as a go to hub for cancer patients in need of support.
To read more about the mission and goals of the Foundation for Women’s Cancer, check out their website.
Ovations was founded by Patricia Franchi Flaherty in 2006. Prior to founding Ovations, Flaherty had already beaten ovarian cancer herself nine years prior, and she had lost her mother to the disease thirty years earlier. Flaherty was no stranger to ovarian cancer and the devastating effects that it can have on a patient’s life. After being diagnosed the second time, Flaherty decided that enough was enough and she founded Ovations as a way of taking a stand against the disease.
From the beginning, Ovations has been committed to raising money that can be used to spread awareness and fund research. The original Ovations team decided that events would be an excellent way to raise money, and in 2006 they hosted the first Stuart Weitzman Fashion Show. The show continued over the next five years and raised over $250,000 each time. Flaherty and the team at Ovations didn’t stop there. To date, Ovations has donated more than $1.4 million to cancer research, awareness, and patient education programs.
Ovations works to take a targeted approach in the fight against cancer. The organization is specifically designed to raise money which can then be funneled to research projects, treatment trials, and patient education programs that provide tangible benefits in the fight against ovarian cancer. Patricia Flaherty did eventually die from ovarian cancer in 2008 after another two year battle with the disease, but her legacy certainly lives on. Friends and staff members alike have furthered the mission of Ovations and the organization continues to be a strong force in the fight against breast cancer.
Read more about Flaherty’s journey and the work of Ovations at Ovations for the Cure.org.
National Ovarian Cancer Coalition
A group of survivors as well as friends and family members who had been impacted by ovarian cancer began brainstorming the idea of an organization committed to the fight against ovarian cancer in 1991. In 1995, the group had moved from ideas to a tangible organization that was incorporated as the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (NOCC). Since it was first incorporated, NOCC has been working diligently to increase patient awareness about ovarian cancer.
Education is the primary goal of the NOCC. From their early days, the NOCC has worked to think of creative and innovative means for providing patient access to information. In 1996, for example, the NOCC established the first ever information hotline for ovarian cancer. A few years later, in 1998, the NOCC worked with then President Clinton to declare a week in September “National Ovarian Cancer Week” which was accompanied by various events such as walks and runs to help raise funds and awareness. Since then, the NOCC has not slowed down. Through educational videos, PSAs, and information campaigns, the NOCC works hard to make sure that everyone has access to information about the signs, symptoms, and treatment options available to ovarian cancer patients.
You can read more about the NOCC at Ovarian.org.
Ovarian cancer is a multifaceted disease, so it only makes sense that efforts to end the disease would be diverse as well. While there are numerous organizations committed to ending ovarian cancer, we’ve highlighted a few that have worked faithfully to make significant contributions to the fight. Whether organizations raise money to fund experiments or treatment trials that can improve the likelihood of patient survival, or if organizations raise awareness and provide support for others impacted by the disease, no contribution to the fight is insignificant. Hopefully, as organizations and individuals continue to work on increases understanding and awareness, we’ll continue marching towards ending the disease.