Press Release: Society of Gynecologic Oncologists and Gynecologic Cancer Foundation Support Women’s Health Week, May 11-17

Chicago, May 12, 2003—The Society of Gynecologic Oncologists (SGO) and the Gynecologic Cancer Foundation (GCF) join with other leading organizations committed to improving women’s health in their support of Women’s Health Week, May 11-17.

A project of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Women’s Health, Women’s Health Week emphasizes the importance of screening and early detection of diseases affecting women. This is especially important for gynecologic cancers.

“We know that screening and early detection are key determinants of successful outcomes for gynecologic cancers,” said Kenneth D. Hatch, M.D, president of SGO. “Breast self-examination and mammograms can detect early breast cancers, leading to greatly improved results. Also, the new approach to screening for cervical cancer in women age 30 and older combining the Pap test with the test for HPV, the cause of almost all cervical cancer, brings us one step closer to eliminating cervical cancer as a cause of death among American women.” Dr. Hatch is the head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Arizona.

“Because we cannot screen for all gynecologic cancers, it is extremely important that women have annual examinations,” said GCF chairman Karl C. Podratz, MD, Ph.D. “Women’s Health Week serves as an opportunity to encourage women to become better educated about gynecologic cancers. For example, we cannot screen for ovarian or endometrial cancer at the present time. But when women know the symptoms and risks, and see their physicians before these cancer progress, we have a much better chance of successfully treatment.” Dr. Podratz is a professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Mayo Clinic.

The Office of Women’s Health is a member of the GCF Allied Support Group that fosters collaboration among organizations committed to women’s health, especially those with a focus on gynecologic cancers. One of GCF’s educational missions is to provide women who are diagnosed with a gynecologic cancer with the names of gynecologic oncologists in their area.

The SGO is a national medical specialty organization of physicians who are trained in the comprehensive management of women with malignancies of the reproductive tract. Its purpose is to improve the care of women with gynecologic cancer by encouraging research, disseminating knowledge which will raise the standards of practice in the prevention and treatment of gynecologic malignancies and cooperating with other organizations interested in women’s health care, oncology and related fields.

The Society’s membership is primarily comprised of gynecologic oncologists, as well as other related medical specialists such as, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and pathologists. SGO members provide multidisciplinary cancer care including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, supportive care and surgery. More information on the SGO can be found at www.sgo.org.

The Gynecologic Cancer Foundation provides information on the leading types of cancer including gynecologic cancers—ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer and cervical cancer. Visit www.wcn.org to read about cervical, endometrial and ovarian cancer survivor stories and gather additional information on cancer statistics, graphs and charts, as well as clinical trials for cancer and new cancer treating drugs.

Spotlight

This special section in Self Magazine features a GYN surgeon and 34-year-old (at the time of diagnosis) patient.

Awareness

Check out CervivorTV’s new webisode: 5th National Race to End Women’s Cancer. Hosted by the fabulous cervivor herself, Tamika Felder! Click here.

Research

The Foundation’s research award winners will be notified in January. Thank you to all who sent in their applications.

Education

The Foundation for Women’s Cancer is pleased to announce its upcoming FREE Telephone Education Workshop Dec. 18 on Cervical Cancer. For more information, click here.