Chicago Skyline Goes Teal To Show Support For Ovarian Cancer

Lisa Fielding
September 12, 2019 - 2:06 pm
Chicago Lights The Town Teal For Ovarian Cancer

Michelle Mekky

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- When you look to the skies over Chicago in September, you will see teal, which signals Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Starting Friday, several downtown buildings will be turning their lights teal in support of the month.

"Teal is the color of Ovarian Cancer Awareness. TEAL stands for Take Action and Live," said Karen Young, Spokesperson, National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (NOCC) Illinois Chapter. "This is our 11 years. At least 20 properties in the city, some of the most iconic buildings like the Wrigley Building, Willis Tower, Prudential Plaza will light up teal for awareness for us, so we can shine brightly in the city and make people aware of the symptoms of Ovarian Cancer.

"One out of 78 women will get Ovarian Cancer in her lifetime. In 2019 alone, more than 22,000 women will be diagnosed and 14,000 will die from ovarian cancer, because ovarian cancer ranks fifth in cancer deaths among women, more than any other gynecological cancer, we need to be proactive about identifying signs and symptoms. "

Wrigley Building goes teal for Ovarian Cancer Awareness
WBBM Newsradio/Lisa Fielding

There is currently no early detection test and Young said contrary to what many believe, pap test does not detect ovarian cancer. Nearly 80 percent of women are diagnosed in late stages when prognosis is poor. That's why she said it's critical to know the signs and symptoms.

"Things like bloating or having abdonimnal or pelvic pain, feeling full fast, frequent urination. You see that these are very vague and they can mimic a lot of different diseases, but if they aren't normal for you and they persist for more than a few weeks, you really should have them checked out."

Ariana and Isabel, Ovarian Cancer Survivors
Michelle Mekky

Young said more funding will hopefully lead to some kind of screening.

"Everything survivors and their family members, what they look for someday, is an early detection test that is reliable, that we can depend upon at early stages, so no woman will die from ovarian cancer again. We do have a commitment not only to support our survivors, but money to go to research so they can eventually in the future identify something that is going to be more reliable than what they have right now." 

Michelle Mekky

As part of a month full of ovarian cancer awareness initiatives, the NOCC is hosting an event aboard Wendella’s “Lila” for the 11th Annual Teal Lights Celebration Cruise on Sept. 13.

Also, that night, NOCC will light the Chicago skyline TEAL to honor those who have lost their lives to ovarian cancer and the survivors, as well as draw awareness to the importance of early detection.