Beginning Thursday, the women’s soccer teams in the Sun Belt will be spreading Ovarian Cancer Awareness as part of a conference-wide initiative with September being National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.
Throughout the weekend, the teams will wear special warm up jerseys to show support of Texas State head coach Kat Conner, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer last year.
Conner, who is now in remission, has undergone seven months of chemotherapy as she battled the stage three cancer.
“This past year has been a tough fight against ovarian cancer, and I am deeply grateful for the support from family, friends and colleagues. As part of my fight, I am building a platform for awareness of ovarian cancer,” said Conner in a statement.
“This particular form of cancer takes the lives of so many women because its symptoms are masked and dismissed as other common illness, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS. As a result, diagnoses often are not made until the cancer is well into its advanced stages. I experienced IBS type symptoms, such as bloating, being unable to finish a meal due to unusual feelings of fullness, and persistent fatigue. I became unable to complete my normal daily workouts and felt compelled to lie down anytime, anywhere, and I did. I am proud of, and thankful to, the Sun Belt Conference, its coaches and student-athletes, for sharing this platform with me.”
The hope is that the Sun Belt women’s soccer teams coming together to raise awareness will educate women about the “silent killer,” which has symptoms very similar to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
Symptoms include bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, urinary discomfort, bowel changes, including diarrhea and constipation alternately, fatigue, and eating complications.
Without thorough sonograms, CT scan, blood tests and physical exams, ovarian cancer will go undetected until well into its advanced stages. All women are urged to advocate for their health and to seek informed medical advice and comprehensive testing should any of the symptoms be experienced.
“It is an honor for the Sun Belt Conference to be part of this wonderful cause. And not only to show support for Coach Conner but to also help educate the public about this terrible disease that affects so many women,” said Sun Belt Conference Commissioner Karl Benson.
For more information, visit http://www.ovariancancer.org.