Ready for a shocking stat? Eight hours. That’s how often a woman dies from ovarian cancer. What makes the situation so difficult is that cases are often diagnosed late, because there’s no early detection test for this disease that impacts around 1,600 Aussie women each year.
These figures are ones that scientists worldwide are working to change. A champion for the funding to help them? The Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation (OCRF), which has just co-launched its annual White Shirt Campaign with Witchery. Add a shirt from the clothing brand’s eight-strong collection (shop it here) to your wardrobe, and 100 per cent of the gross proceeds will go to OCRF. Talk about a double win.
Two familiar faces in this year’s line-up of campaign ambassadors are Keep It Cleaner co-founders (and WH cover alumni) Steph Smith and Laura Henshaw.
“It’s such a beautiful campaign and we’re honoured to be a part of it with such strong empowering women next to us,” says Steph on why the pair wanted to be involved. “We both want to do the best with our social [media] reach – it’s a massive responsibility – and so things like this that we feel need that extra reach, and to reach the younger generation particularly … That’s a big part of why we decided to jump on board.”
And while they fortunately haven’t been affected by ovarian cancer directly, Laura saw some of the impact of the disease when she worked in the oncology department of a hospital as a ward clerk.
“I worked there for five years between when I was about 18 and 23,” she recalls. “It’s so sad to see people so brought down by an illness, and especially ones that they can’t detect early. It’s so devastating.”
What they want all of us to know? The shocking figures about the disease and that, by sharing these with others, we can hopefully all help to raise awareness and research funding.
Also, know what to look out for in your own body. While ovarian cancer symptoms can be vague, and easily confused with other things, OCRF reveals some culprits to watch out for...
- Abdominal pain or pressure
- Out-of-the-ordinary feelings of fullness, gas, nausea, indigestion
- Persistent changes in your bowel or bladder patterns
- Low backache or cramps
- Unusual vaginal bleeding
- Pain during sex
- Unexplained changes in weight.
If you’re ever worried or unsure, check in with your doc.