Cycle the Lights is an event designed to raise awareness about ovarian cancer and to raise much needed funds for the charity Ovacome. In March 2010, I'm going to circumnavigate mainland Britain on my bicycle, visiting every on-shore lighthouse on the way.
The 6000 mile journey will start in Dartmouth, South Devon, with the aptly named Start Point Lighthouse being the first port of call. I'll then continue in an anticlockwise direction up through Wales, Scotland and back into England.
I'm sure this is going to be the most challenging thing I've ever done and I'm really excited about the journey ahead. Ive decided to cycle for Ovacome in the memory of my mum who passed away in June 2009 from ovarian cancer. I'm positive that when I'm out on the road and feeling tired, the thought that this charity ride will raise awareness and hopefully save lives will keep me focused and pedalling hard.
Heres a little more info about ovarian cancer~
Ovarian cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women, but to put this in perspective, the average GP sees only one case of ovarian cancer every five years.
The good news about ovarian cancer is that if diagnosed at an early stage, the outcome is good. However, because some of the symptoms of ovarian cancer are similar to those seen in more common conditions, it can be difficult to diagnose. Most women are not diagnosed until the disease has spread, which is why it is important that women know about the symptoms, so that they can seek advice as early as possible.
Ovarian cancer was once known as a 'silent' disease in that the symptoms can be vague. Ovacome, working in collaboration with the Eve Appeal, convened the UK's first symptoms consensus conference. Leading clinicians and researchers alongside cancer charities and women affected by the disease debated the evidence and experiences of ovarian cancer. This resulted in agreement that the following three symptoms are more frequent in women diagnosed with ovarian cancer.Persistent pelvic and abdominal pain Increased abdominal size/persistent bloating - not bloating that comes and goes Difficulty eating and feeling full quickly
These symptoms are frequently experienced by women, however when they are experienced frequently, persistantly and severely the likelihood of ovarian cancer increases.
Occasionally other symptoms such as urinary symptoms, changes in bowel habit, extreme fatigue or back pain may also be experienced on their own or at the same time as those listed above. Again, it is most likely that these symptoms are not ovarian cancer, but may be present in some women with the disease.
If you regularly experience any of these symptoms, which are not normal for you, it is important that you see your GP. It is unlikely that your symptoms are caused by a serious problem, but it is important to be checked out. You should also mention if there are two or more cases of ovarian or breast cancer in your close family, as ovarian cancer can sometimes run in families.
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