UNION, NJ – Union resident, Board of Education member, and ovarian cancer survivor Mary Lynn Williams accepted a proclamation from the Township Committee recognizing September as Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month at Tuesday night’s committee meeting.

“We would like to call attention to a disease that affects women across our county, state and country,” said Township Committeewoman Suzette Cavadas.  According to the American Cancer Society, said Cavadas, one in 78 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in their lifetime.  In the United States alone, there will be approximately 21,900 new cases of ovarian cancer each year.  Cavadas said there are currently 186,138 women living with ovarian cancer in the United States. “It is an insidious disease that strikes without warning or cause,” said Cavadas.  “Ovarian cancer is called the silent disease because its symptoms are often vague or subtle.  If detected in its early stages, survival from ovarian cancer is 90%-95%.”

“Until we have better early detection tools, all women should be educated about the disease so they can achieve an early diagnosis and successful treatment,” added Cavadas.

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Cavadas gave special thanks to Mary Lynne Williams, Board of Education member, an employee of the Union County Division of Social Services, mother of three boys and a survivor of ovarian cancer for spreading the word in the community

“Thank you for helping to spread ovarian cancer awareness,” said Williams, who said she was diagnosed at Stage 1 in March of 2014.  “My best friend was diagnosed at Stage 4 in May of 2014.  The difference between her ovarian cancer experience and my cancer experience is why I advocate so diligently.  I was diagnosed early.  I had symptoms, I knew them, I went to the doctor immediately.  She didn’t and she kept being misdiagnosed.”

“Ladies, if you have a problem, please, be firm with your doctor.  Tell them, no, something is wrong and we have to find out what it is. I encourage you to do your research and learn the signs and help create awareness about the disease,” added Williams.

“Let us honor those we have lost, show our support for women who bravely carry on the fight, and taken action to lessen the tragic toll ovarian cancer takes on families across the country,” said Cavadas.