As the due date draws to a close for the charms and ties to be sent in, I am so touched by the amount of people that have eagerly and selflessly wanted to be part of this project, thank you! I am also acutely aware of just how many have been effected in some way by this quiet disease! Now more then ever Ovarian cancer needs to be brought to the forefront of public awareness and more dollars raised to help fight this silent disease. Please continue to promote awareness and help us stamp out this disease!
Thomas Ashman recently shared photos of his amazing charm and tie he made for our project Ties That Bind. Talk about a beautiful heartfelt gift of love WOW! Please read the story Thomas shared with us below...
I'd like to begin by saying how grateful I am to have been a part of this project. It started with Kris asking me to make just a charm, but then a couple of people had to drop out, so she said I could go ahead and make a tie too. This ended up being unexpectedly cathartic for me. See, my dad died from complications following surgery while being treated for esophageal cancer a few years back, and I happen to have a few neckties that were his still hanging in my closet. I just can't seem to throw them out, but he was a much taller man than I, so his ties are simply too long for me to wear (not to mention our very different style choices). So, I figured I might as well start with one of his old ties for this project. What I didn't expect was that I ended up thinking of him the whole time I was making the piece. For hours, as I worked on his tie, I recalled how much he loved building and making things. We did model cars and rockets, decorated cakes, assembled all the Christmas toys ("When all else fails, read the directions!", he used to say), we worked in his shop together, and he never stopped me from getting into his tools, even when I left them outside and they got all rusty. Thanks Dad, I still have some of your wrenches and your sockets. Projects like this one are so very important, for cancer invades so many of our lives, and we must never stop fighting it any way we can. Thomas Ashman http://www.blacksheepartist.com/tiesthatbind.html Close up of Tie
Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecologic cancers in the United States and is the fifth leading cause of cancer death among U.S. women. The American Cancer Society estimates that 21,650 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the U.S. in 2008 and about 15,520 women will die from the disease. It is an insidious disease that can strike without warning or cause.
The symptoms of ovarian cancer are often vague and subtle, making it difficult to diagnose. There is no effective screening test for ovarian cancer but there are tests which can detect ovarian cancer when patients are at high risk or have early symptoms. In spite of this patients are usually diagnosed in advanced stages and only 45% survive longer than five years. Only 19% of cases are caught before the cancer has spread beyond the ovary to the pelvic region. However, when ovarian cancer is detected and treated early on, the five-year survival rate is greater than 92%.
Until we have better early detection tools, all women should be educated about the disease so they can achieve early diagnosis and successful treatment. A woman's lifetime risk of ovarian cancer is 1 in 67. Listen to your body. Do not ignore symptoms.
Signs & Symptoms
• Vague but persistent and unexplained gastrointestinal complaints such as gas, nausea, and indigestion • Abdominal bloating, pelvic and/or abdominal pain, and/or feeling of fullness • Unexplained change in bowel habits (constipation or diarrhea) • Unexplained weight gain or loss • Frequency and/or urgency of urination • Unusual fatigue• Shortness of breath • New and unexplained abnormal postmenopausal vaginal bleeding
Did you know that September is ovarian cancer awareness month? During National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, we would like to honor the victims and survivors of this disease for their courage, hope, and perseverance. Please spread the word by posting our Project Ties that Bind Badge (located to the left hand side) on your website and/or blog.
Please feel free to share your stories with us you can either post here or email me and I'll post them here with your permission
Fact: A Pap test only diagnoses cancer of the cervix (the opening of the uterus).
Myth: Ovarian cancer has no symptoms.
Fact: Symptoms may include persistent and progressive abdominal pain, bloating, or discomfort; nausea, indigestion, or gas; urinary frequency; constipation, or diarrhea; abnormal vaginal bleeding; unusual fatigue; unexplained weight loss or gain; and shortness of breath. There may also be pain with intercourse. Most symptoms are not gynecologic.
Myth: There are no risk factors for ovarian cancer.
Fact: Risk factors for this disease include increasing age; family history of ovarian, breast, or colorectal cancer; personal history of breast cancer; never bearing a child or having a child later in life; and using talc in the genital area for several years. Use of high-dose estrogen without progesterone for long periods of time (10 years) is a risk factor. However, today combination therapy (estrogen and progesterone) is more common.
Myth: A high CA-125 blood level always indicates ovarian cancer.
Fact: It is not uncommon for pre-menopausal women to have a high CA-125 level because of non-cancerous conditions such as uterine fibroids, inflammation of the fallopian tubes, or endometriosis. The CA-125 blood test is more accurate in post-menopausal women. Currently, no screening test is 100% accurate in detecting ovarian cancer.
Myth: If ovarian cancer does not run in my family, I cannot get it.
Fact: All women are at risk for ovarian cancer. Only 10% of cases are hereditary (inherited).
Myth: Ovarian cancer has no cure. Fact: If ovarian cancer is detected early and treated properly, there is a 90% chance of survival for at least five years. However, only about one quarter of ovarian cancer cases are diagnosed early. Late diagnosis is associated with significantly lower survival rates—about 25%.
Myth: Fertility drugs cause ovarian cancer.
Fact: This is an area of controversy. Several studies conducted in the early 1990s showed that certain fertility drugs are associated with an increased risk of ovarian cancer. More recent studies have shown that ovarian cancer risk was not increased by the use of fertility drugs but rather by infertility itself.
Myth: Women who have their ovaries removed cannot get ovarian cancer.
Fact: Women who have their ovaries removed can't get ovarian cancer unless a bit of undetected cancer spread before the removal. This is a rare event. In addition, a rare type of cancer called primary peritoneal carcinoma, a close relative of ovarian cancer, can develop when there are no ovaries. Primary peritoneal carcinoma starts in the inside lining of the abdomen and pelvis. It looks similar to ovarian cancer under the microscope. It also has the same symptoms, spreads in a similar pattern, and is treated the same way as ovarian cancer.
Myth: Ovarian cancer can be prevented.
Fact: Currently, there is no way to prevent ovarian cancer with 100% certainty. However, several things can help reduce the risk: Prophylactic oophorectomy—having both ovaries removed along with the fallopian tubes as a preventive measure—can reduce risk by more than 80%. Taking oral contraceptives for at least five years can reduce risk by 50% (but the safety of birth control pills in women with a personal history of breast cancer is unclear). Pregnancy and breast-feeding, tubal ligation (tying the fallopian tubes), and hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) can all reduce risk.
Myth: Having ovarian cysts increases your risk of ovarian cancer. Fact: Most cysts develop from the changes in hormone levels during the menstrual cycle and the production and release of eggs from the ovaries. Most cysts are harmless and go away on their own. However, some can be cancerous.
Fact: Most cysts develop from the changes in hormone levels during the menstrual cycle and the production and release of eggs from the ovaries. Most cysts are harmless and go away on their own. However, some can be cancerous.
Our mission is simple in concept. Artists united in their creativity to benefit Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. Our project: Ties That Bind. A hand made doll created with heart and soul, donning hand embellished men's dress ties and hand born charms. 100% of the profit goes to the OCRF, in support of their mission to help ovarian cancer patients and their loved ones.