April 2015
"I Had..." 
I Had
This PSA, called "I Had", is from CDC's Inside Knowledge: Get the Facts about Gynecologic Cancer campaign.
 Click here to view
the 12 Things Women Should Know About "Down There" Cancers infographic.

Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer in women, surpassing breast cancer in 1987. The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through Education, Advocacy and Research.  
The National Cancer Institute (NCI), established under the National Cancer Institute Act of 1937, is the Federal Government's principal agency for cancer research and training.
The American Cancer Society is the nationwide, community-based, voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives, and diminishing suffering from cancer through research, education, advocacy, and service. 

The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) was founded to advance the simple idea that cancer can be prevented. Focusing on the link between diet and cancer, AICR funds research in the field of nutrition, physical activity and cancer prevention, treatment and survival. They interpret the results of that research, along with findings from the global scientific community, to craft reliable, evidence-based recommendations for lower cancer risk.


Cancer.Net provides timely, comprehensive, oncologist-approved information from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), with support from the Conquer Cancer Foundation. Cancer.Net brings the expertise and resources of ASCO to people living with cancer and those who care for and about them to help patients and families make informed health care decisions.  

The Conquer Cancer Foundation (CCF) was created by the world's foremost cancer doctors of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) to seek dramatic advances in the prevention, treatment and cures of all types of cancer. CCF works to conquer this disease by funding breakthrough cancer research and sharing cutting-edge knowledge with patients and physicians worldwide, by improving quality of and access to care, and  by enhancing quality of life for all who are touched by cancer.


CancerCare is the leading national organization providing free, professional support services and information to help people manage the emotional, practical and financial challenges of cancer. All services are provided by oncology social workers and world-leading cancer experts.

Since its founding in 1979, the Skin Cancer Foundation has set the standard for educating the public and the medical profession about skin cancer, its prevention by means of sun protection, the need for early detection, and prompt, effective treatment. It is the only international organization devoted solely to combating the world's most common cancer.

Women's Health: Cancer

Every year, hundreds of thousands of mothers, wives, sisters, and cherished friends are diagnosed with cancer. Among the most common cancers affecting women are skin, lung, breast, cervical, and ovarian cancers. During this National Cancer Control Month, we support women fighting this disease, and commit to raising awareness for the purposes of effective cancer control. Knowing about these diseases and what women can do to help prevent or find them early may, in fact, save their lives.

 Breast Cancer 

With the exception of skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women. About 1 in 8 women in the United States will develop invasive breast cancer in their lifetimes. The chance that breast cancer will be responsible for a woman's death is about 1 in 36. Fortunately, death rates from breast cancer have been declining since about 1989, quite possibly as a result of earlier detection through screening and increased awareness, as well as improved treatment.

At this time there are more than 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S. Continuing to raise awareness of this disease is vital so that women might know their risks, recognize the symptoms, and receive treatment as early as possible to assure a positive outcome.

Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer was once one of the most common causes of cancer death for American women. But over the last 30 years, the cervical cancer death rate has declined by more than 50%. The main reason for this change was the increased use of the Pap test. Still, the American Cancer Society estimates that 12,900 new cases of cervical cancer will be diagnosed this year, and 4,100 women will die from this disease.

Unfortunately, women with early cervical cancers and pre-cancers typically have no symptoms. Infection with the human papilloma virus (HPV) − a group of more than 150 viruses that can infect cells on the surface of the cervix − is the most significant risk factor for cervical cancer. However, because symptoms of HPV infection might not develop for years after the initial contact, it is important that women receive appropriate screening. The Pap test and the HPV test can be used to find changes in the cervix before cancer develops. They can also find cervical cancer early − in its most curable stage.


Ovarian Cancer

According to the American Cancer Society, over 22,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer every year. This same cancer will cause over 14,000 deaths this year alone. That's 273 women every week, 39 every day, and nearly 2 every hour. When ovarian cancer is found in the early stages, 94% of patients live 5 years or longer. So why is this disease claiming the lives of so many women? The biggest problem is that there is no medically accurate tool for early detection, which means that only 20% of cases are found in the early stages.  

Because of its difficulty in detection, ovarian cancer has a reputation as a "silent killer." But hopefully, with advances in technology, that reputation will change. It's important that all women are aware of the symptoms, warning signs, and risk factors of the disease. To learn more about ovarian cancer and the latest developments in the field, visit the American Cancer Society's Ovarian Cancer page.

Women's Cancer Resources  


Women of Hope is

dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for female cancer patients, their families, and friends. They offer educational opportunities, financial assistance, as well as various support services to help with the emotional, physical, and spiritual needs of all that have been touched by cancer. 


The Foundation for Women's Cancer (FWC) was formed by the Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO) in 1991. FWC's mission, in concert with SGO, is to support research, education and public awareness of gynecologic cancer prevention, early diagnosis and optimal treatment.


Cervical, Ovarian, Uterine, Vaginal, Vulvar. Get the facts about gynecologic cancer.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) the Inside Knowledge campaign raises awareness of the five main types of gynecologic cancer: cervical, ovarian, uterine, vaginal, and vulvar. Inside Knowledge encourages women to pay attention to their bodies, so they can recognize any warning signs and seek medical care. The campaign has consumer materials in both English and Spanish, including resources for providers and organizations.  

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Heather McCollum is both an author and ovarian cancer survivor. To view the blog posts she wrote during her 2-year journey, please click here.
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