By NATALIA HAWK.
A week ago, I knew absolutely nothing about ovarian cancer.
I had no idea that 1,200 Australian women get diagnosed with ovarian cancer every year.
I had no idea that one Australian woman dies of ovarian cancer every ten hours.
I had no idea that it has a higher mortality rate than breast cancer.
Just as an FYI, this post is sponsored by L’Oreal Paris. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words.
And I had no idea that the already-scary statistics are getting greater as time goes on.
Which is, incidentally, exactly why Megan Gale has signed on to be the face of L’Oreal Paris’ major ORCF (Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation) campaign, designed to drive both awareness and vital research donations for ovarian cancer.
I sat down with her on one sunny Tuesday morning to discuss her involvement in the campaign. As soon as we started discussing ovarian cancer, it was clear that she’s incredibly passionate about supporting the cause – especially after seeing several people in her life affected by cancer.
“I’ve had quite a few people close to me recently – no family members, but people that I work with and a lot of colleagues – that have been diagnosed with cancer,” she told me. “It’s quite heartbreaking to see people go through it, especially when they are going through chemo and losing their hair. But I have seen a lot of people being very strong and very positive and very proactive about bettering their health, getting on top of the disease and beating it. That’s always wonderful to see.”
She explained to me that she gets asked to align herself with different causes on an almost-daily basis. But when she learned some of the shocking statistics aligned with ovarian cancer, she knew she wanted to get involved.
“I wanted to learn as much as possible and arm myself with as much information as possible, so that I could then become involved in spreading the word to other women across Australia,” Megan said. And, as one of Australia’s most well-known celebrities, she certainly is an influential voice – especially when it comes to correcting the misconceptions around ovarian cancer. For example, many believe that ovarian cancer can be detected with a Pap smear test – it can’t be.
So what are the symptoms of ovarian cancer, exactly?
“There is abdominal pain, there’s bloating, any kind of discomfort, fluid retention, which I think you know, just naturally happens every month, so it’s hard to distinguish,” she explained. “And we definitely don’t want people to start panicking. But I think with women, more so than men, women seem to have this gene that just switches off pain and just powers on through. Especially mothers and working mothers – quite often they ignore their health.”