Ovarian cancer national alliance Upcoming events Complete Event Calendar

Salsa & Salsa!

Whether you love the music & dancing, eating & drinking, or other fun activities, don't miss the fun for all ages at the Ann Arbor Latin Festival on Saturday, July 12 from 1 to 11 PM at the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds. Visit the event website  to learn about the exciting things planned.  Part of the proceeds will benefit MIOCA. Visit the MIOCA table to check out our new Spanish/English ovarian cancer information cards!

New Ovarian Cancer Support Groups

MIOCA funds professionally led groups in Ann Arbor & Grand Rapids

Ann Arbor - Meetings began in January and will be held every 3rd Wednesday of the month at 6:00 – 7:30 pm, at the Cancer Support Community of Ann Arbor .

Grand Rapids  - Starting in March, meetings will be held every 2nd Tuesday of the month at 6:00 – 7:30pm at Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids .

2014 Ovarian Cancer National Conference

The 2014 Ovarian Cancer National Conference will be held July 11-14.  Presented by the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, this event is an exciting way to learn what's new in the world of ovarian cancer, connect with other survivors and supporters, and advocate on Capitol Hill. Click here  to learn more about this year's conference.

Lori Haber Buckfire Foundation Advocacy Fund

A very generous gift from the Lori Haber Buckfire Foundation will provide a $1000 scholarship to cover travel expenses to the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance Annual Conference and Lobby Day in Washington, DC for 5 people. The application process is now closed. MIOCA wants to thank the applicants and the Lori Haber Buckfire Foundation.  

Triathlete Raises Awareness

Ironman is a statement of passion and commitment.  On September 7, 2014, Brian Young will race Ironman Wisconsin in memory of his mother, who died of ovarian cancer.  This renowned event is a long-distance triathlon comprised of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride, and ending with a 26.2 mile marathon run.  Through his efforts, Brian is raising money for MIOCA.  Read more about Brian's race  and please consider showing him your support!

Shake Your Teal Feather Fun Run/Walk

Put your sneakers on and join other survivors and supporters on Michigan's west side!  Shake Your Teal Feather Fun Run/Walk will be held at John Ball Zoo Park on Sunday, Sept. 14 at 2:00 pm.  More information will be coming soon!

Turn The Village Teal

We've added more to an already fun day on Saturday, Sept 20! Starting at Adams High School in Rochester Hills, survivors and supporters can participate in a 5K fun run/walk (10:30 am). The route ends at the Village of Rochester Hills where everyone can relax and enjoy the large teal and turquoise collectible car show and outdoor concert (11:00 – 2:00 pm). For more information, visit the Turn the Village Teal website . Register here  for the 5K.

Hoo Haa Fun Walk

Finish out National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month by joining us at the Hoo Haa Fun Walk to be held on Sunday, Sept 28 from 10-3 at Roseville Jr. Sports Park in Roseville, MI. Presented by Bombshell Bridal Boutique in honor of Connie Knot Toigo who lost her battle with ovarian cancer in 2009. Funds raised will benefit MIOCA. Learn more about the Hoo Haa Fun Run here   Registration ($25 including a t-shirt) is available online .

The Ride for Awareness

“What can one individual do to help make a difference?” MIOCA supporter, Matt McEwen intends to find out by taking to the road this spring and summer, in memory of his late wife, Wendy McEwen. Riding across the US to raise awareness of ovarian cancer and funds for MIOCA, he will enroll Motorcycle Owners Associations Chapters nationwide, to focus attention on the critical need for early detection and better treatments. Because he “can’t just sit on the sidelines while we lose more women like Wendy to this deadly disease”, follow Matt's ride throughout the country here.

SPEAKing About Early Detection

Hearing personal accounts from ovarian cancer survivors helps put a “face” to the disease. It also illustrates the real life subtleties of its symptoms and the challenges of early detection. Based on this premise, the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance’s nationwide educational program, Survivors Teaching Students: Saving Women’s Lives® , brings survivors into healthcare classrooms to share their diagnostic and treatment experiences. Inspired by this highly successful experiential program, SPEAK: Survivors Promoting Early Awareness and Knowledge  seeks to raise ovarian cancer awareness among all women in a similar manner.

See our event calendar  for all the upcoming SPEAK presentations. To educate our community about life saving symptom awareness, please schedule one for your group or organization, contact SPEAK coordinator Michelle Shepherd .

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Established in 2011, the Michigan Ovarian Cancer Alliance promotes saving women’s lives through the early detection of ovarian cancer and improved treatment outcomes. In addition to community outreach and education, MIOCA provides advocacy, resources and support throughout Michigan.

Oral Drug Combination May Be Highly Effective for Recurrent Ovarian Cancer

Significant improvement with the use of a combination drug therapy for recurrent ovarian cancer was reported at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in Chicago. “Of particular note is the fact that both drugs used in this trial are in pill form and could offer an alternative to intravenous chemotherapy,” said Percy Ivy, M.D., associate chief of NCI’s Investigational Drug Branch.  Read more here


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SGO & AACR Research News

Two major scientific conferences, the Society for Gynecologic Oncology (SGO) and the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), recently completed revealing a wealth of scientific research news about ovarian cancer. Read a summary of the highlights here.


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Advocates' Hard Work Pays Off in Research Funding

The appropriation bill Congress recently passed for this fiscal year contains some good news for the ovarian cancer community. It allocates $20 million for the Ovarian Cancer Research Program - the amount the Alliance and our 6 MIOCA advocates requested from their legislators at Advocacy Day meetings last summer. CDC cancer control and awareness programs also received robust funding. Plus funding for both the National Institutes of Health and National Cancer Institute--which typically fund around $100 million in ovarian cancer research yearly--will rise by around 3%.


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Altered Estrogen Metabolism and Ovarian Cancer

Eleanor Rogan, Ph.D., University of Nebraska College of Public Health, believes that epithelial ovarian cancer is initiated by an imbalance in estrogen metabolism. In a study funded by the U.S. Dept of Defense Ovarian Cancer Research Program, UNMC researchers suggest physicians might be able to predict ovarian cancer in the near future based on measuring this imbalance.

Read more here.


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Conflicts of BRCA Screening

While most survivors wonder why they developed ovarian cancer, for those who carry the BRCA genetic mutation, it helps to know there is a strong possibility this is the cause. Yet it raises many other questions and concerns for the future generations. Read more  about the questions, difficulties, and conflicts in areas such as Israel where the highest populations of these genetic mutations reside.


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Drug Quality and Security Act

Congress has approved the Drug Quality and Security Act and it’s now on its way to the White House for signature.  The Drug Quality Security Act means safer compounded drugs and greatly diminishes the risk of counterfeit drugs making it into our homes.  It establishes a system to track and regulate compounded drugs from manufacturing to distribution.  The Alliance has been working on this issue in a coalition led by Pew Charitable Trusts. More information here .


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Doxil Shortage, Again

The main supplier of Doxil has decided to close their plant and discontinue production of the drug. Johnson & Johnson, the distributor, said it therefore is likely the Doxil shortage will continue through the end of 2014.  Due to FDA approval process, it is doubtful that Johnson & Johnson will have a new supplier before the end of 2014.  More information for patients and families can be found here.


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Information to help determine new insurance coverage

Enrollment for the Health care Marketplaces opened on October 1st (with coverage starting January 2014).  The options for insurance for cancer patients can be overwhelming, so the Alliance created a checklist to help when researching coverage in the marketplaces. The Checklist was created with cancer patients' needs in mind to ensure all bases are covered when comparing health insurance plans.


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Spartan’s alum responds to Go Blue by raising funds to fight ovarian cancer

MSU Alumni Association Executive Director, Scott Westerman, issued a challenge to the Spartan faithful after “Go Blue” appeared over their stadium last Saturday. Saying the money spent on that flight could have been put to better use, he challenged Spartan's nationwide to exceed that amount in donations to the MIOCA .  Scott's wife, Colleen, is treated at University of Michigan Hospital for ovarian cancer, and he will challenge his counterpart at the UMAA to do the same, "Let's show the world what Leaders, Lifesavers and World Changers do".

The response has been tremendous. We are greatly appreciative of Scott & Colleen and everyone that has donated! We will use these funds to further our mission and help save women’s lives. Thank you from the MIOCA Board, volunteers, and all ovarian cancer survivors! ,

Some of the press: MLive , CBSSports , Detroit Free Press , MLive , ESPN , Fox News , Examiner , Detroit News , WLNS TV , USA TODAY , Huffington Post and more!


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Promising New Research Results For Early Detection Screening

MD Anderson Cancer Center published new findings indicating that evaluating the change in CA125 levels over time shows some promise as a screening method for early ovarian cancer. The 11 year long study followed 4,000 low risk women that underwent yearly blood tests for the CA125 cancer marker. Those that showed a sudden increase were referred to a gynecologist and received an ultrasound. The study suggested that the testing strategy had a specificity of 99.9 percent, the researchers said, meaning that only 0.1 percent of patients without cancer would be falsely identified as having the disease. Read more here.


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Supreme Court Strikes Down BRCA Gene Patents

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously on June 13 that private companies do not have the right to patent human genes, including those associated with an increased risk of ovarian and breast cancer - the BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations. Many cancer advocates applauded the decision, in the hope it will allow for easier, less expensive access to genetic testing, and  more research to be done on these genes.

Read the statement from the Alliance .

Read the New York Times story .


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Society of Gynecologic Oncology 2013 Annual Meeting

At this year’s SGO Annual Meeting numerous presentations explored issues related to ovarian cancer. The Alliance summarized some of them, with topics including diagnosis, treatment, recurrence, prognosis and more, in a report here.  


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Pap Test Might Detect Ovarian Cancer

Researchers at Johns Hopkins showed that examining cervical cells can help identify ovarian and uterine cancers. In a recent small study of 46 women, DNA analysis detected 41% of ovarian cancer cases.

Read study here.


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Ovarian cancer advocate and MIOCA Vice President, Marcie Paul recently participated in the evaluation of research applications submitted to the Ovarian Cancer Research Program (OCRP) sponsored by the Department of Defense. Nominated for participation by the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, she was a full voting member, along with prominent scientists, at meetings to help determine how the $20M appropriated by Congress for Fiscal Year 2013 (FY13) will be spent on upcoming ovarian cancer research.

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