2006-04-14 / Community

Pheffer Details Ovarian Cancer Hotline

Assemblywoman Audrey I. Pheffer has announced that SHARE, Self-help for Women with Breast or Ovarian Cancer, in cooperation with the American Cancer Society, is establishing a dedicated New York State-wide toll-free Ovarian Cancer Support Hotline.

The State-wide hotline will be staffed by trained volunteers who are themselves ovarian cancer survivors. The New York State Ovarian Cancer Support Hotline telephone number is 1-866-53SHARE (1-866-537-4237).

Women diagnosed with ovarian cancer, or those with suspicious symptoms, will receive peer support, information and access to statewide, regional and local resources. The hotline will have the capacity to match callers with an ovarian cancer survivor from their geographic area whose diagnosis, treatment, or issues of concern closely mirror their own. Callers will also have the option to remain anonymous.

"This tremendously important service being offered by SHARE will help many women suffering from this terrible disease and allow them a resource to turn to during their battle with ovarian cancer," said Pheffer.

While ovarian cancer is not as common as breast cancer, it is the deadliest of gynecological cancers because its symptoms are easily confused with other health care problems. As a result, diagnosis often comes after the cancer has spread. At present, there is no reliable, easy-to-administer screening or diagnostic test. When ovarian cancer is detected early, over 90% of women live more than five years. According to the New York State Department of Health Ovarian Cancer Information and Education Program, more than 1,700 women are newly diagnosed with ovarian cancer annually in New York State. Of these, more than 1,000 will die of the disease.

SHARE is a not-for-profit organization that for 30 years has provided survivor-led support free of charge for women with breast or ovarian cancer, their families and friends. SHARE's services include hotlines in English and Spanish, with capacity in 10 other languages, support groups, wellness and educational programs and advocacy groups. For more information, SHARE can be reached at 1-866-891-2392 or visit www.cancersupport.org

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