Last month, Sandy Rollman Ovarian Cancer Foundation’s CEO Robin Cohen spoke with The Inquirer to discuss what you need to know about ovarian cancer. Robin opened up about her inspiration to start the foundation, and shared what she, an experienced oncology nurse, wants every woman to know about the often silent or unnoticed symptoms of the disease that impacts so many.
“I was very young, and I had a lot of self-doubt. But I remember going into another patient’s room at the time. She was dying of ovarian cancer. I told her what I was thinking. It took all her strength, but she raised up off the bed and took my arm and shook me. She said, “You go out and fight for us.” That was a defining moment for me.”
Robin recalls a time when she was speaking to Sandy Rollman, the woman behind the foundation and where it all started. Now, she reflects on four important things that people need to know about when learning and dealing with ovarian cancer.
Listen to Your Gut
There aren’t always symptoms and there are no screening tests for ovarian cancer, but it’s important to listen to your body. Listen to your gut and be your own best advocate. Robin believes that all women should be getting tested when visiting the doctor for their annual exam, and sometimes you have to be your own best advocate and speak up.
Don’t Wait to Get Involved
Don’t wait to do something about ovarian cancer until it touches your life. We need more people involved and supporting patients, families and researchers. One in 78 women is diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and more often than not, it’s at a late stage so she will have a higher risk of recurrence.
The Sandy Rollman Ovarian Cancer Foundation implements survivor programs to promote strength, unity and support, so no woman should feel alone in her journey with ovarian cancer. Survive and Thrive brings ovarian cancer survivors together to help improve their overall wellness and quality of life. We teach them skills they can utilize during their treatment and beyond. With a Little Help From Her Friends is a peer-to-peer mentorship program that connects newly diagnosed patients with survivors. Hearing another woman’s voice in that same situation is very comforting and encouraging. It’s important to learn and listen to ovarian cancer survivors to help women and their families feel like they have a true support system as they endure and overcome this disease.
The Sandy Rollman Ovarian Cancer Foundation helps make the ovarian cancer journey a little bit easier and less overwhelming for women and families. It strives to help in the decision-making process, understand the depths of this disease and how to remain strong and seek the help and guidance needed.