September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, and one Macon business owner is shaving off all of her hair in memory of her mother and sister, who both died of Ovarian Cancer.
Linda Brambila owns Merle Norman in Macon. She says she's teaming up with Coliseum Medical Centers to educate women in our area about detecting Ovarian Cancer.
"Signs and symptoms of Ovarian Cancer are very, very subtle," Brambila says. "They're things that women endure every day."
Coliseum Medical Centers nurse, Beverly Stanley, says those symptoms include bloating, transient nausea, appetite changes, and abdominal pain.
Stanley also says a pap smear won't detect Ovarian Cancer.
"They have to do a physical exam," Stanley says. "So they'll do what they call a trans-vaginal ultrasound, which is a picture of the ovaries so they can actually see what they look like."
Brambila says she just wants women to know their bodies. If something is wrong, women need to get checked out.
"They must be vigilant about their own health, and not put themselves last in line with the family," Brambila says. "They have to take care of themselves so that they can be here to take care of their families."
If it's detected early, Stanley says, there's a good shot at survival.
"If you get diagnosed early, there's a 95 percent survival rate," Brambila says. "If you come in late stage, which I'm sad to say most of them are diagnosed, there's only about a 25 percent survival rate."
Stanley says tell your doctor if symptoms last more than two weeks. Coliseum Medical Center nurses will be at Merle Norman every Wednesday in September to share information about early detection.