OCA - TerryWhite Chemmart

TerryWhite Chemmart is proud to work in partnership with Ovarian Cancer Australia to raise awareness of the impact of ovarian cancer.

  • 1,600 women are expected to be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2018
  • Over 1,000 women will die from the disease in 2018
  • There is currently no early detection test – the pap smear does not detect ovarian cancer
  • Ovarian cancer has the lowest survival rate of any female cancer

It’s vital for women to be aware of the symptoms. Early detection gives women the greatest chance of survival.

The symptoms of ovarian cancer commonly include:

  • abdominal and pelvic pain
  • bloating or enlarged abdomen
  • the need to urinate frequently or urgently
  • feeling full after eating a small amount.

If you experience any of these symptoms either for the first time or persistently over a four week period, please visit your GP.

Who is Ovarian Cancer Australia?

Ovarian Cancer Australia is a national not-for-profit organisation founded in 2001 by people directly affected by ovarian cancer. The organisation provides support for women and their families, raises community awareness of ovarian cancer and advocates for improved services for women. Ovarian Cancer Australia aims to save lives and ensure that no woman with ovarian cancer walks alone.

The partnership between TerryWhite Chemmart and Ovarian Cancer Australia began with Chemmart in 2006; over the last 12 years we have raised a staggering $1.26 million together. Money raised goes toward raising awareness of ovarian cancer, research and support for women who have been diagnosed with the disease.

If you would like more information on ovarian cancer please visit ovariancancer.net.au.

Caitlin’s Story

“Ovarian cancer is a lonely disease, it is a scary disease…I need the help…I have two young kids – I need to see them grow up.”

Caitlin is one of the 1,600 Australian women who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year and is taking life one day at a time with her family.  Caitlin was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at only 39 years old. At times she feels isolated, especially being so young.  Caitlin is telling her story today, so other women don’t have to go through the fear and unknown by themselves.

Caitlin sat alone on a hospital bed waiting – for more tests, for answers. With over six months of pain that didn’t bring any diagnosis, Caitlin could only hope for answers.

Caitlin shared with OCA, “I had a bad feeling. I felt that this was only the beginning of many hospital visits”.

When the phone call came, only hours after her tests, she knew something was wrong.  Caitlin stood in the middle of her open plan office at work while her GP delivered the tragic news.

She finally had an answer but not the one that anyone would want to hear.

Just two weeks after her diagnosis, Caitlin started chemotherapy. There was no time to waste – she had Stage 3 High-Grade Serous Ovarian Cancer.

Caitlin tried to remain positive, “Although I knew that this wasn’t a “good” cancer to get, I thought I’m young, I’ll be fine”.

It wasn’t very long until Caitlin was in the hospital for major radical surgery to remove numerous tumours and her diagnosis was upgraded from stage 3 to stage 4 and to a rarer type of ovarian cancer, clear cell carcinoma. Her prognosis was grim.

If diagnosed early, women have an 80% chance of being alive and well after five years. Unfortunately, 75% of women are diagnosed at an advanced stage like Caitlin. At this stage, the cancer has typically spread, and it is difficult to treat successfully.

 

Caitlin felt alone, isolated and scared. She remembers, “My husband and I googled for more information and started crying – the statistics were dire.” They also came across Ovarian Cancer Australia and soon received a Resilience Kit – a support guide for women newly diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

 

Caitlin does not know what her future holds, but she is committed to standing with people like you to advocate for teal – to save lives and prevent ovarian cancer.

For more than a decade, TerryWhite Chemmart has helped women like Caitlin through our partnership with Ovarian Cancer Australia. Together, we can ensure no woman with ovarian cancer walks alone.

With the support of the TerryWhite Chemmart community, we can provide vital support and services for women living with ovarian cancer and their families. You can help raise awareness of the disease and assist in the process of research – because, like us, you want better outcomes for Australian women.


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