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'Unleash the She' Run Raises Awareness of Ovarian Cancer

May 06, 2018 10:53 PM

(ABC 6 News)  --  Around 20,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year, and while early detection is key, there currently isn't an early detection test. Sunday, a group of runners hoped to change that by raising awareness about the disease.

Nearly 1,000 runners hit the streets near Mayo High School to raise money for education and research. One of those runners was Kristine Greer, who was diagnosed and beat ovarian cancer nearly two decades ago.

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At an annual exam, Greer became one of the thousands of American women who heard the words ovarian cancer. She said at the time, she didn’t know much about her diagnosis.

“Ovarian cancer has symptoms that are very subtle. They can be attributed to many other things,” she said.

Since beating cancer, she's become an advocate for awareness in part by joining events like Sunday’s "Unleash the She" run.

“I'm still here and I want to do something about this very under-recognized cancer,” she said.

Kathleen Gavin, the executive director of the Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance, said until recently ovarian cancer wasn’t a major part of medical schooling, something she’s changing through her work

“There have been some really critical breakthroughs in the last couple of years, there's a whole new class of drugs ... which are effective for a certain subset of women with ovarian cancer,” she said.

Until an early detection test is created, both say it's crucial that women know the symptoms, including lower back aches, feeling full quickly and urinary issues, and talk to their doctor if something doesn't feel right.

“We have definitely made some progress and that feels great, but we do have a lot more work to do,” Gavin said.

So far the group has raised more than $7 million for ovarian cancer research, much of which is given to the University of Minnesota, Mayo Clinic and the Hormel Institute in Austin.

 

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Logan Reigstad

Copyright 2018 - KAAL-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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