SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Mayor Al Smith and the Scotch Plains Township Council proclaimed September as "National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month" at the Council meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 17.

While introducing guest speaker Jill Pall, Mayor Smith commended the "Turn the Town Teal" initiative designed to create awareness of overian cancer, which has a 95% survival rate if it is detected in its early stages.

A survivor who was diagnosed over 14 years ago, Pall warned that doctors don't always recognize the early warning signs.

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"I was diagnosed at 29 years old. You have to advocate for yourself. The warning signs are the same as PMS; they will only take you seriously if you say you have a history. Otherwise there is no test," said Pall, noting that only 15% of patients are diagnosed early (Stage 1 or Stage 2).  

"This Mayor has done true work with his Mayor's Wellness initiative," said Pall, a Garwood resident who attended the meeting to help educate people in Scotch Plains about overarian cancer. "I feel you've taken these issues to heart, and I thank you."

Mayor Smith then noted that this week marked the sixth anniversary of his wife's passing from breast cancer.

"Anything I can do to help, I will do," he said.

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