WARREN - The color teal may be an unfamiliar one, but the Warren Junior Women's League is hoping to change that by "turning the town teal" in recognition of National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.
A group of about 10 women gathered at the gazebo on Courthouse Square, donning bright blue shirts and holding hands full of similarly hued ribbons. They tied them around the gazebo and trees and posted signs encouraging people to know the signs of ovarian cancer.
"My mother passed away last year from ovarian cancer; she had it for almost five years," Erin Flanagan said.
Patti Padovani, left, and Esther Gartland, members of the Warren Junior Women’s League, tie teal ribbons on the gazebo in Courthouse Square in downtown Warren on Saturday.
In 2011 with her mother and family, they started the Rose Mary Flanagan Ovarian Cancer Foundation to raise awareness about the disease. Flanagan said one of the biggest issues is that there is not early testing for the cancer.
Yet she said when the cancer is able to be treated early there is a 90 percent survival rate.
"It's the deadliest gynecological cancer," Flanagan said.
About 20,000 women in the United States get ovarian cancer every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Among women in the United States, it is the eighth-most common cancer and the fifth-leading cause of cancer death. The greatest number of cases occur in women over the age of 60.
Flanagan said the symptoms are commonly mistaken: bloating, abdominal pain, feeling full quickly and urinary symptoms.
She reached out to the Warren Junior Women's League for volunteers to promote the national campaign in Warren after finding it successful in Youngstown last year.
"We're always trying to bring awareness to anything that deals with women's health. When Erin contacted us we said of course we'll help out," said Melanie Cann, President of GFWC Ohio and the league.