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Doylestown gets ready to “turn teal” for ovarian cancer awareness

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September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and in Doylestown Borough, according to a proclamation the council adopted Monday night at its regularly scheduled monthly meeting.

According to the proclamation, every woman, regardless of age, heritage, medical history or geographic boundary, is at risk for ovarian cancer, the eighth-most common cancer among women and the fifth-leading cause of cancer deaths among females.

The Rotary Club of Doylestown is again providing funds for supplies to help turn Doylestown teal for the month of September.

Rotarians will be among the volunteers participating in Doylestown’s Turn the Towns Teal campaign in an effort to raise awareness of a disease that affects thousands of women across the country each year and in the Doylestown area.

At 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 31, ovarian cancer survivors and community-spirited volunteers will meet at the corner of Main and State streets in Doylestown and will go out in teams to tie teal-colored ribbons to lampposts in the Doylestown downtown business areas. The ribbons remind women and their loved ones that ovarian cancer is known as the “silent disease” and alert them to learn the symptoms of this insidious disease.

Joan Doyle, a former Doylestown Borough councilwoman, has been organizing the event for the past 11 years and is assisted by Cathy Hoot, who leads the preparation of the 400 teal-colored ribbons that will be hung and helps execute the annual event.

Turn the Towns Teal is a national campaign that began in 2007 in an effort to raise awareness of ovarian cancer and its symptoms that mimic other illnesses. According to the Turn the Towns Teal organization, early detection can lead to survival rates of up to 95 percent.

Doyle said that before volunteers go out in teams to tie the ribbons, the group will be honoring ovarian cancer survivors, as they did last year. If you are a survivor and would like to attend, contact her so you can be included in the tribute to courageous warriors. If you know someone who is fighting ovarian cancer or lost their battle, come hang ribbons or hang just one in someone’s honor or memory.

Doyle’s sister passed away in March 2009 after a courageous six-year battle with ovarian cancer.

“The earlier the diagnosis, the better the prognosis,” Doyle said. “So many treatment advances have been made in recent years and survival rates are increasing. It is important that women realize there is no diagnostic test for this female disease and they should pay attention to what their body is signaling.”

Volunteers are needed. Contact Joan Doyle at joanddoyle@gmail.com to sign up.

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