Hope Light initiated its 2020 ovarian cancer campaign in March beginning on World Ovarian Cancer Day and continuing through this month of September that is ovarian cancer awareness month.
This campaign is especially critical this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic having a negative impact on women scheduling annual well-woman checkup appointments and on women contacting their physician to discuss changes in body norms that could be ovarian cancer related.
Research has shown that new cancer diagnoses have declined since the beginning of the pandemic, possibly due to delayed cancer screenings and other routine health care appointments. A model from the National Cancer Institute estimated that delayed diagnoses due to the COVID-19 pandemic could result in 10,000 excess deaths from breast and colorectal cancer over the next 10 years.
During this pandemic, ovarian cancer symptoms may be ignored and treated with over the counter drugs and delaying contacting a physician at the first signs that could result in a late stage diagnosis.
Per an NIH.gov article titled, "The COVID-19 Pandemic and Implications for Gynecologic Cancer Care":
"Cancer cases are more susceptible for COVID-19 infection and rapid deterioration if they get infected," according to a National Institute of Health article, "The COVID-19 Pandemic and Implications for Gynecologic Cancer Care."
It continues: "The potential threat of COVID-19 to women with gynecological cancers is substantial. In the current scenario, there will be delays in diagnosis, seeking treatment and actual treatment administration. Treatment delay is known to be an independent risk factor for increased mortality due to cancer."
Hope Light seeks to inform women of ovarian cancer signs and symptoms and encourage them to make it a priority in this COVID-19 environment to contact their physician immediately if the cancer is suspected while it is in an early stage and is easier to treat.