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Ovarian cancer walk highlights ‘silent killer’

The ribbon is cut during the 2016 Ovarian Cancer Walk in Windsor, N.S. Peggy Hamilton (centre), a survivor of the disease, cuts the ribbon.
The ribbon is cut during the 2016 Ovarian Cancer Walk in Windsor, N.S. Peggy Hamilton (centre), a survivor of the disease, cuts the ribbon.

WINDSOR, N.S. – Cheryl Barker calls ovarian cancer the silent killer – it can come without much warning and with symptoms that can get shrugged off until it’s too late.

Barker, who is chair of the Windsor Ovarian Cancer Walk, said that she’s hoping the next walk, the eighth annual, will continue to raise awareness for the disease.

“I lost a very dear, close friend to ovarian cancer,” she said. “But before that I had surgery myself, it was fine, but it was personal experience that lead me to do this.”

Barker said the walk in 2016 raised approximately $3,000 with approximately 60 – 100 people usually attending each year.

“It just made me realize how little people know about the symptoms and signs of it,” she said. “To me, the most important thing is educating the public.”

Barker said people should consider supporting the walk because ovarian cancer is relatively underfunded when compared to other cancer campaigns.

All funds raised during the walk go to Ovarian Cancer Canada (weblink -, which raises awareness, funds research and supports women and families dealing with the disease.  

“We want a better survival rate, the survival rate has not changed in 50 years,” she said. “The main thing is to allow women the ability to live longer and fuller lives if they have ovarian cancer.”

“If it’s diagnosed early enough, most times they can be treated,” she added.

The walk will begin at the Pisiquid Canoe Club on Sept. 10, 2017, with registration beginning at 12:15 p.m. and the walk starting at 1 p.m.

The walk goes around the causeway, approximately 2.5 kilometres.

The Fret Notes will play music and refreshments, donated by Sobeys, will be available for walkers.

There’s a bit of a change this year for the walk, participants are encouraged to continue wearing their t-shirts, but baseball caps will be distributed instead this year.

Carole Peterson has donated 20 copies of her recent book The Old Woman and the Pumpkin, which features illustrations by Cheryl Rutledge, who passed away from ovarian cancer.

The walk organizers will auction those copies with proceeds going to Ovarian Cancer Canada.

Did you know?

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, the following are the more common signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer that you should watch for.

- Abnormal vaginal bleeding

- A lump that can be felt (palpable) in the pelvic or abdominal area

- Need to urinate often (frequency)

- Intense need to urinate (urgency)

- Constipation

- Changes to digestion (such as difficulty eating, feeling full after a small meal, heartburn, gas , indigestion or nausea)

- Feeling of pressure in the pelvic or abdominal area

- Fatigue

- Pain in the legs, lower back, pelvis or abdomen

- Bloating (swelling of the abdomen)

- Painful intercourse

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