BRIDGEWATE,R NJ - September is recognized nationally as Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, and, to continue to spread awareness, Bridgewater Mayor Matthew Moench signed a proclamation in September recognizing it.

To commemorate the month, teal ribbons have been displayed around the municipal complex.

The tradition of the Together Teal campaign in Bridgewater dates back to 2014 through the activism of late Bridgewater resident Renee Edwards. Edwards was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and began a campaign in town to raise awareness about the signs and symptoms of the disease.

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Edwards, a Bridgewater business owner, died in 2016, and her husband, Jamie Edwards, and daughters, Leah Fitzpatrick and Jordan Edwards, continue to honor her legacy by raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of the disease.

“September and the ‘Together Teal’ campaign have become synonymous in Bridgewater Township over the years,” Moench said. “I hope residents will take time to spread awareness of ovarian cancer, contribute to its research and learn the early warning signs. I would like to thank Jamie Edwards and his daughters who continue to display such impactful advocacy on behalf of Renee, and patients and victims everywhere.”

In past years, the township has held a special ceremony and ribbon cutting, with local officials speaking, information passed out and a special wall dedicated to those who are dealing with or have dealt with ovarian cancer. Due to the pandemic, the ceremony was not held this year.

Ovarian cancer is a disease in which malignant cells can be found inside, near or on the outer layer of the ovaries. A total of one in 78 women will develop ovarian cancer in their lifetime.

Early signs and symptoms of the disease are subtle and can often be dismissed as other ailments. Symptoms include bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, trouble eating for the sudden need to empty the bladder.

Survival rates, according to a release from the township, drop rapidly as the cancer progresses.

Because of the non-specific nature of the symptoms and lack of early detection testing, communication with a health care provider is critical.

To learn more, visit www.ovarian.org, or contact the Bridgewater Health Department at health@bridgewaternj.gov.