Odessa College Raises Awareness About "Silent Killer" Disease

Odessa College Raises Awareness About "Silent Killer" Disease

By Geena Martinez

NewsWest 9

ODESSA - It's known as the silent killer. More than 15,000 women die from ovarian cancer every year.

It may not be as talked about as much as other diseases but Odessa College is hoping to change that.

"Ovarian cancer does exist and it can hit close to home," OC Student Housing Coordinator, Brad Gwatney, said.

More than 21,000 women are diagnosed each year in the U.S. with ovarian cancer.

It's a big number but surprisingly, many women don't even know they're at risk.

"I've never really given it a big thought because that's not one you normally hear about," cosmetology student, Katie Reid, said.

After Thursday, students and staff hope that wont be the case, at least on campus.

The OC Student Housing Department teamed up with the Cosmetology Department for a "Teal Toes" event.

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and teal is the color for the cause.

Cosmetology students offered pedicures and manicures for donations to promote an important issue.

"Cosmetology is predominantly women so it's very important to all of us," instructor, Shelley Navratil, said.

The event hits close to home for the college. One woman was diagnosed with ovarian cancer while she was a student at OC.

"She played women's softball and she was very active on this campus and was very much supported by our softball team and this entire campus," Gwatney said.

Luckily, she fought and is now a survivor.

Students said they hope to bring as much awareness to ovarian cancer as there is for breast cancer.

Some symptoms of ovarian cancer can be pelvic or abdominal pain and urinary symptoms.

Fewer than 20% of ovarian cancer patients are diagnosed early but these students hope that will eventually change.

'I didn't even know they had a color," Reid said. "I learned something today and I'm so happy to get that out there."