Ovarian Cancer Public Awareness Campaign Is Needed Essay Sample

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Cancer, Women, Elections, Campaign, Medicine, Risk, Knowledge, Consciousness

Pages: 6

Words: 1650

Published: 2023/04/10

Before talking about public awareness campaign on ovarian cancer and how badly it is needed, let’s clarify what ovarian cancer is. As American Cancer Society explains “ovarian cancer begins in the ovaries that are reproductive glands found only in females (women). The ovaries produce eggs for reproduction. They are also the main source of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone. One ovary is on each side of the uterus in the pelvis” ("What Is Ovarian Cancer?").
One should understand that there are several types of cancer that develop from cells of the ovary and are considered to be one disease process. According to the information, provided at medicinenet.com, usually, “tumors arise from the epithelium or lining cells of the ovary. These include epithelial ovarian (from the cells on the surface of the ovary), fallopian tube, and primary peritoneal (the lining inside the abdomen that coats many abdominal structures) cancer” ("Ovarian Cancer: Facts on Symptoms and Treatment").
Obviously, there are some risk factors to pay attention to and the list of symptoms that women can identify themselves. Speaking about the risk factors that influence on the development of ovarian cancer, women should take into consideration the following key factors: age and family history.
The older a women get the higher the risk. Thus, women who are over the age of 50 are more susceptible to ovarian cancer and ovarian cancer more often occurs in women who have already gone through the menopause. However, it doesn't mean that young women are totally protected from this disease. Unfortunately, they also have the risk to get ovarian cancer (Target Ovarian Cancer, “Risk Factors and Prevention”).
The second key risk factor means that ovarian cancer can be genetically inherited. 8 out of 10 ovarian cancer cases are 'sporadic', which means that close relatives of women with already diagnosed ovarian cancer should remember that it absolutely doesn't mean that they have quite a high risk of developing ovarian cancer themselves. Just in the opposite, they can not worry. The remaining two in ten cases of ovarian cancer in women are believed to be so-called 'mutation', or the process inheriting ‘faulty’ gene, which means that women with the above-mentioned gene have much higher risks of developing breast and/or ovarian cancer than other women.  Anyway, they should be identified and further consultation with a doctor on ovarian cancer is required (Target Ovarian Cancer, “Risk Factors and Prevention”).
It goes without saying, that two above-listed risk factors are not the only ones. Among others there are overweight or, for example, using talcum powder in the relevant area of the body. However, one should take into consideration, that a risk of developing ovarian cancer for women without family history of ovarian cancer hardly exceeds 2.5% (Target Ovarian Cancer, “Risk Factors and Prevention”).
Moving on to ovarian cancer symptoms, American Cancer Society suggest the following list of symptom: bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, trouble eating or feeling full quickly, urinary symptoms such as urgency or frequency. Other symptoms are fatigue, upset stomach, back pain, menstrual changes, abdominal swelling with weight loss and some others. Definitely, other types of cancer or even other diseases may have similar signs and symptoms. Therefore, in case a woman has these symptoms quite often and regularly, she should immediately see her gynaecologist to be on the safe side and reduce the risk of ovarian cancer.
Being the most death-causing type of cancer of the female reproductive system, ovarian cancer is the least known if we compare with such diseases as breast cancer, HIV or diabetes. Ovarian cancer is probably the last type of cancer that one will think about if they have to answer the question: "What types of cancer are the most dangerous for women and what are often paid attention to in the society?". The answer is likely to be: “Breast cancer.” No wonder.
Let’s take, for example, the Estee Lauder Companies’ Breast Cancer Awareness (BCA) Campaign and its pink ribbon universal symbol. Indeed, we can call this campaign and symbol international, as it has brought together more than 70 countries in the fight with breast cancer. The BCA campaign has already raised more than 58 million US dollars for research, education and medical services, with "nearly $46 million funding 185 Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) research projects worldwide over the past 21 years” (BCA Campaign,"About the BCA Campaign."). Pink Ribbon products (Clinique, Bobbie Brown, Estee Lauder, Donna Karan cosmetics and other brands) that people buy and some other activities within information campaigns like illuminating significant and well-known buildings in pink colour worldwide (e.g. the Empire States Building in New York, the USA; Marienplatz in Munich, Germany; the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, etc.) can't but reach a goal of the campaign, e.i. raise awareness of breast cancer among citizens of different cities in different countries.
Unfortunately, this campaign has some side effect or weaknesses. Pink ribbon symbol and its use caused the development of a new marketing term 'pinkwashing' meaning companies who donate very little and at the same time get incredible publicity or companies who use the pink ribbon on their products that are carcinogenic. The similar views have Breast Cancer Action organization with their campaign "Think Before you Pink" encouraging people not only buy but do something. Samantha King, the author of the book Pink Ribbons, Inc.: Breast Cancer and the Politics of Philanthropy  believes that breast cancer is no longer a serious disease affecting lives of many women but a whole “industry of survivorship and corporate sales pitches” (Wikipedia,"Pink Ribbon"). Despite all this, let's agree that both activities within BCA campaign and its criticism attract people's attention to the issue, make them think over the issue and at the same time raise their awareness of it to this or that extent.
Moreover, an added value to raising awareness gives media persons' activities, for instance, Stromae's latest song "Quand c'est" actually meaning "when it is", “but is a homophone in French for “cancer”, which is the subject of a new song (Rowart, Stromae's New Video). The song is kind of an open address to the disease that has affected many lives:
"Oh yes, we know each other well,You even tried to get my mother,Starting with her breasts,And my father's lungs." (qtd. in Rowart, Stromae's New Video)
Both lyrics and the video are touching and thought-provoking, and, what is more, important highlighting the most known type of cancer – breast cancer.
If we take HIV, we will see that there are several well-develop public awareness raising campaigns like latest UNAID’s campaign “90-90-90” meaning that “by 2020, 90% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status. By 2020, 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy. By 2020, 90% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression” (UNAIDS). It should be mentioned that Red ribbon is a universal symbol uniting people in fighting HIV.
Diabetes is one more disease that has deserved public's attention with its blue cycle symbol and World Diabetes Day celebated on 14 Nobember globally. The advocacy and awareness campaign is led by the International Diabetes Federation. It engages many respective organizations both governemntal and non-governmental, companies and induviduals who organize and promote activties aimed at different groups of people (International Diabetes Federation).
All above-mentioned examples of quite effective and large-scale public awareness raising camapgains, it's getting obvious that it's high time to launch a global advocacy and awareness campaign on ovarian cancer. If we speak about a global campaign, its implementation may take up to 2 years.
The target audience will be represented by women over 35 years old, women over 35 years old who haven't been pregnant, young women and, obviously, women affected by ovarian cancer.
It goes without saying, that a special universal symbol should be developed with the slogan and hashtag to be used for advocacy and promotion in social networks. Besides all these, there should be specially developed a website with the general information about the campaign, basic and necessary information about ovarian cancer, flyers with this information that can be downloaded in different languages. The website should become a special paltform for an exchange of sucess stories of women who have overcome the disease. It may work in the following way: any women with sucess story can enter the basic information, her story, and the main idea she wants to deliver to others that will be automatically qoutated. When all information is entered, a story will be automatically published on the website and a poster with qouatation and photo (if a hero of the story agrees to upload) is generated and can be shared in social netwroks. As far as other possible activities are concerned (flash mobs, building illuminations, etc.) may vary from country to country.
Goodwill ambassadors represented by well-known media persons should be part and parcel of this campaign. Having thousands or even millions of followers in social networks and fans, they can easily deliver the main message to a wider audience.
Another component of the global should private sector involvement via selling products with the universal symbol, as it proved to be effective, that will allow to raise funds for medical support of women with ovarian cancer and provide the free medical test for ovarian cancer for all women who care about their reproductive health. However, issues with raising money are always tricky like in case with pink ribbon products and may cause some criticism and negative opinions. Therefore, crisis management plan is needed as well.
Summing everything up, it should be pointed out that global public awareness raising campaign is badly needed and the proposed plan of the information campaign based on best practices of other similar campaigns can be successful in promoting the reduction of ovarian cases cancer.

Works Cited:

"90-90-90 - An Ambitious Treatment Target to Help End the AIDS Epidemic." UNAIDS. UNAIDS, 2014. Web. 6 Jan. 2016.
"About the BCA Campaign." BCA Campaign. The Estee Lauder Companies Inc., n.d. Web. 5 Jan. 2016.
"Ovarian Cancer: Facts on Symptoms and Treatment" MedicineNet. Medicine Net, Inc., 1996-2016. Web. 5 Jan. 2016.
"Raising Awareness." International Diabetes Federation. International Diabetes Federation, 2015. Web. 6 Jan. 2016.
"Risk Factors and Prevention." Target Ovarian Cancer. Target Ovarian Cancer, 2014. Web. 5 Jan. 2016.
"Signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer" American Cancer Society. American Caner Society, Inc., 2016. Web. 5 Jan. 2016.
"Susan G. Komen for the Cure." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., n.d. Web. 5 Jan. 2016.
"What are the key statistics about ovarian cancer?" American Cancer Society. American Caner Society, Inc., 2016. Web. 5 Jan. 2016.
"What Is Ovarian Cancer?" American Cancer Society. American Caner Society, Inc., 2016. Web. 5 Jan. 2016.
Rowart, Robert. "Stromae's New Video for 'Quand C'est' Is a Gut-wrenching Open Letter to Cancer." CBC Music. CBC/Radio-Canada, 2015.15 Sept. 2015. Web. 6 Jan. 2016.

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WePapers. (2023, April, 10) Ovarian Cancer Public Awareness Campaign Is Needed Essay Sample. Retrieved February 22, 2024, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/ovarian-cancer-public-awareness-campaign-is-needed-essay-sample/
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Ovarian Cancer Public Awareness Campaign Is Needed Essay Sample. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/ovarian-cancer-public-awareness-campaign-is-needed-essay-sample/. Published Apr 10, 2023. Accessed February 22, 2024.
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