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Stay proactive to stay healthy

Today is the first day of September and that means that nationwide Ovarian and Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month has begun. The Foundation for Women’s Cancer, the National Cervical Cancer Coalition and LaFayette’s Teal Magnolias are just some of the groups that use the month of September to bring attention to these diseases. Ovarian cancer affects one-in-78 women nationwide and, according to NCCC, approximately 89,000 women are diagnosed with a gynecologic cancer with more than 29,000 dying from them.

To bring information about the cancer to the Valley and its surrounding areas, the Teal Magnolias formed out of Oak Bowery United Methodist Church in 2013. At this time every year they spread awareness by covering the community with teal bows that act as reminders to get tested, get informed and, in the worst cases, get treatment.

“The good health and well-being of women in our city and state are enhanced by increased awareness about ovarian and gynecologic cancers and their symptoms and treatments,” the City of LaFayette’s official month-dedicating proclamation reads. “It is critical for women, physicians and all healthcare providers to recognize the risk factors and symptoms of [these] cancers and to remember the importance of early detection.”

Like with anything else, staying informed and proactive rather than ignorant and reactive is a course of action that obviously creates better results. Cancer is a disease that affects not only the afflicted, but the family and friends of the afflicted as well. It’s an unfair, unruly and unbelievable thing for people to deal with, and that’s why what the Teal Magnolias are doing to raise awareness is indispensable to the Valley community.

Hopefully, when the bows go up and the town is painted teal, we all take a moment to make sure we are keeping ourselves and the women in our lives healthy.