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Live butterfly release slated for Sept. 7

Members of the Arkansas Ovarian Cancer Coalition River Valley Chapter will release butterflies as part of Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month Saturday, Sept. 7.

Live butterflies will be released at the noon event at the Reynolds Cancer Support House at 3324 S. M St. in Fort Smith.

Open to the public, the butterfly release is meant to bring awareness to the disease while honoring survivors and those women who lost the battle against ovarian cancer.

A motto of the cause is that ovarian cancer “whispers like a butterfly,” so those at risk must “listen” for its symptoms - hence the butterfly release, said Shirley Yeager, member of the AOCC.

Yeager’s daughter Karen Windsor died of the disease in 2011, and one of the main things the two of them noticed while Windsor was undergoing treatment was the lack of information on the disease, Yeager said.

Now Yeager works with other members of the AOCC to help get the word out about the “whisper” of ovarian cancer.

Because the symptoms of ovarian cancer such as bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, and urinary urgency or frequency are common to many other conditions, it is often misdiagnosed.

A Pap test will not detect it, and in fact there is no screening for it, according to the Ovations organization, which works for the cure of ovarian cancer.

A main indicator for ovarian cancer is persistence in the symptoms, which is why women must “listen” for the “whisper” - meaning they must watch very closely for symptoms of the disease.

Risk factors for the disease include a family history of ovarian, breast or colorectal cancer; being post-menopausal; obesity; and being infertile or using infertility drugs, according to Ovationsforthecure.org.

There is some evidence to show the disease may be prevented by using oral contraceptive, breast feeding and pregnancy, and with preventative surgery, according to the website.

Members of the AOC do fundraisers and events throughout the year to raise awareness and money to go toward literature on the disease.

For more information on the butterfly release call Liz Martin at (479) 883-3379 or Blanche West at (479) 646-3431, or by emailing rivervalley@arkansasovariancancer.org.

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