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OVARIAN CANCER NATIONAL ALLIANCE
May 19, 2010

OCNA is a non-profit umbrella organization that brings together cancer activists, women's health advocates, health care providers and researchers in the battle against ovarian cancer. OCNA's website, www.ovariancancer.org, provides access to names of Gynecologic Oncologists, up-to-date diagnosis, treatment and information about genetic influences as well as breaking news in the ovarian cancer field. OCNA's goal is to improve the survival rate of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer. We work with health professionals in training (in Medical, Nursing, Midwifery, Physician Assistant Schools) what to look and listen for when working with women so they may be diagnosed early if they have symptoms of ovarian cancer. EARLY DIAGNOSIS MEANS INCREASED SURVIVAL TIME. OCNA's signature program, Survivors Teaching Students, works toward earlier diagnosis through survivors who tell their stories to students who are just beginning to work with Gynecology patients. Usually, three of us share our stories of diagnosis, treatment and our lives now. We hope to prevent the delays that lead to more than 81% of us being diagnosed late-stage and to encourage what we found was helpful. How to give bad news, ensure that hope survives and where to get help if needed are among the contents of these personal stories. We put a face to a dreaded disease. We show that while ovarian cancer is the most lethal of gynecologic cancers, there are survivors who continue their lives. Results of each panel's presentation are determined by two surveys filled out by students before and after they have heard the speakers. Group facilitators now enter data from each presentation online at OCNA's website. An Electronic Data System allows us to collect survey results and quantitatively evaluate the effectiveness of the presentations. OCNA stands alone in its Survivors Teaching Students signature program. A physician now working in a NYC Medical School recently told a 3rd year student that he himself had never forgotten the STS presentations he had participated in years ago. You won't, either, he told her. OCNA reaches out to the newly diagnosed and to those of us who have survived and want an effective way to help. OCNA is the prime resource for women like me and our families who are dealing with ovarian cancer.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

leading groups of survivors speaking to med school students. Presentations in which wonderful questions are asked reflect intellectual curiosity. Leaving a presentation with hugs and warm wishes speaks to the emotional power of the survivors' stories.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

MY ROLE:
Volunteer & Facilitate presentations to medical students, nurses and other health professionals while they are beginning clinical work with patients. Two women and I who are survivors of ovarian cancer present the symptoms of ovarian cancer which occur even in early .