On Wear Teal Day, teal is worn to raise awareness about ovarian cancer. By wearing the color, people can help spark conversations that will help educate others about the symptoms and risk factors of the cancer, which will aid in making early diagnosis and proper treatment more possible. Another reason why teal is worn on the day is to show support for women who have ovarian cancer. Wear Teal Day is on the first Friday in September, which happens to be during National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.
Ovarian is the deadliest gynecologic cancer and the fifth deadliest cancer overall for women. One in 78 women in the United States are affected by it, and one in 108 die from it. Approximately 22,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with it each year, and 14,000 die annually. Fortunately, the rates have been falling slowly over the first two decades of the twenty-first century. About half of the women who get it are 63 or older. If detected and treated early, it can be managed, which is one reason Wear Teal Day is so important. When diagnosed and treated in a timely fashion, the survivability rate of 5 years or more is 93%.
Ovarian cancer may start in the ovaries or in the far ends of fallopian tubes. There are three types of cells that make up ovaries, and they may produce one of three types of tumors: epithelial, germ cell, and stromal. Most tumors are epithelial tumors, which start in cells that cover the outer part of the ovaries. Germ cell tumors start from cells that produce eggs, and stromal tumors start from cells that hold the ovaries together and produce the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Some tumors are benign, but malignant or borderline (low malignant potential) tumors can spread to other parts of the body and be fatal. Today we wear teal in an effort to educate and lessen these fatalities.