COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Ovarian cancer is one of the five leading causes of cancer death in American women. The disease occurs in about one in 72 women. Each year, more than 20,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer and about 15,000 women die.
Dr. James Williams, a gynecologist with the South Carolina Oncology Associates, says many women think a pap smear will detect ovarian cancer, but it does not. That test only detects cervical cancer.
The 10th Annual Butterfly Release by the Ovarian Cancer Coalition of Central South Carolina uses the month of November for its yearly awareness campaign. In addition to speeches, music, and prayer, the group ends the event at the State House with a butterfly release. This is a way to remind women that just like the flapping of a butterfly's wings, the signs and symptoms of the disease can seem silent.
It's actually that the symptoms - like bloating and fatigue - are ambiguous and often mistaken for other problems.