By Chris Fish
BREVARD -- In an effort to raise awareness for victims of gynecologic cancers, the 16th annual "Sister Run" is scheduled for this weekend, Saturday, Aug. 30 at Ryckman Park in Melbourne Beach.
The event, which is a certified 5K race coordinated by Running Zone, is sponsored by C.A.R.E. (Cancer Advocacy Resources and Education).
"Our most important objectives are to recognize and honor women, living with a gynecologic cancer, and raise awareness within our community," said Alice Spinelli, president of C.A.R.E. "The run was created 16 years ago in memory of Tricia Loveday. It serves to celebrate her and all women, who are no longer with us, providing the opportunity for their families and all of us to come together in their honor."
Ms. Loveday died when she was 29, six weeks after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
According to the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, symptoms of gynecologic cancer - bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, difficulty in eating or feeling full quickly and urinary symptoms - are often misdiagnosed.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no known way to prevent ovarian cancer, but there are things that may lower a woman's risk of developing the disease.
The center said that using birth control pills may help reduce the risk; however, birth control pills are not recommended as a way to prevent ovarian cancer, as other symptoms and side effects may arise from the medication.
Having a tubal ligation, both ovaries removed or a hysterectomy, an operation in which the uterus, and sometimes the cervix, is removed, will lower a woman's risk, as well as having given birth. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also lists breastfeeding as a means of lowering the risk of ovarian cancer. According to the Center, women who breastfeed for a year or more may have modestly reduced the risk of ovarian cancer.
Besides raising awareness for this disease, Ms. Spinelli said that the day also offers families an opportunity to experience a beautiful park before it gets too hot. The 16th annual "Sister Run" will be held Saturday, Aug. 30, at Ryckman Park in Melbourne Beach, beginning at 7:30 a.m. Registration is $25. To register, visit runnigzone.com.
For more information, visit thesisterrun.org.