Most Common Types of Gynecologic Cancers

  • Endometrial/Uterine is the most common GYN cancer. The primary symptom of endometrial cancer is abnormal bleeding.
  • Ovarian cancer is the second most common GYN cancer. Since there are no effective screening tests, one must be aware of the earliest symptoms of ovarian cancer.
  • Cervical cancer has been steadily decreasing in incidence with the increased prevalence of pap smear screening. We encourage you to get an annual pap smear.

Signs and Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer

    Recent studies have shown that most women with ovarian cancer have had some or all of the following symptoms almost daily for more than a few weeks:

  • Bloating
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain
  • Urinary urgency or frequency
  • Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly
  • The key is whether that is change from normal for your body.

    Other symptoms can include fatigue, indigestion, back pain, pain with intercourse, constipation, and menstrual irregularity.

    Because the signs and symptoms of GYN cancers may also be associated with other conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, it is important that your physician take seriously the possibility that ovarian cancer may be present, especially if you have a family or personal history of ovarian, breast, or colon cancer, and have never borne children.

    If you should have these symptoms, please see your gynecologist, who can follow-up with some diagnostic tests - CA125, transvaginal ultrasound, and pelvic exam. If these results indicate the possibility of ovarian cancer, ask - no, insist - to be referred to a gyn oncologist.


It’s GYN Cancer Awareness Month!

On Tuesday, September 2nd the A State Of Teal campaign got off to a great start with our kick off event at Region’s Field!


Be sure to visit the A State of Teal website or Facebook Page for
more pictures and links to the media coverage for this event.


CanSurvive GYN Cancer Support Group
2 meetings each month

Please note that sometimes the 3rd Sunday will occur

before the 3rd Friday.


3rd Friday of each month

12 noon – 1:30 p.m.; lunch provided

American Cancer Society*

1104 Ireland Way

Birmingham 35205

(205) 930-8860


3rd Sunday of each month

2 – 4 p.m.

Brookwood Wellness Center at Gold’s Gym

1090 Montgomery Hwy, Vestavia 35216

Light refreshments provided by LCBOCF


*Please check website or call on a weekday (205-934-7509) to confirm Friday meeting location; occasionally it has to be relocated.



EVENT – Thurs, 12/4, 7:30 p.m.; doors open at 6 p.m. - TICKLED TEAL - Our TWO stand-up headliner comedians are set for the Comedy Club Stardome in Hoover. Our comedians are Karen Mills (who happens to be an ovarian cancer survivor) and John Morgan, the “Ragin’ Cajun”. This will be a unique show; no other shows will have Karen with John. It will be clean, but very funny, comedy. Tickets will be $42.50.  This is a joint fundraiser for CanSurvive and the Laura Crandall Brown Ovarian Cancer Foundation.

Spotlight on GYN Cancers

CanSurvive’s 2nd Annual Teal Lighting of

Alabama State Capitol & Montgomery

was held on Friday, September 6, 2013

CanSurvive’s 2nd annual teal lighting of the Alabama State Capitol on Friday, September 6, 2013 was a well-attended success.  In addition to the Capitol, the RSA buildings and the Renaissance Hotel in Montgomery lit their buildings in teal.

The “Spotlight on GYN Cancers” lighting ceremony at the Montgomery Visitors Center featured speakers from across Alabama that included cancer survivors, current patients, family members who have lost loved ones and physician who are involved in battling these diseases. Survivor Kelly Rice welcomed everyone and gave our invocation.  Gynecologic oncologist Dr. Max Austin from the University of Alabama at Birmingham discussed the current state of research, screening guidelines and treatments.  Criss Smiley was our Emcee for the evening.

Angela Dainas spoke on BRCA genetic testing and preemptive treatments.  Nan Galik told us about support groups for those affected by these cancers and recognized survivors in the audience.  UAB graduate student Jennifer Cunningham enlightened us about high risk populations.

The evening featured a special remembrance ceremony led by Jim and Cecilia Crandall for those who have lost their battle with these diseases.  The MAKing a Difference band provided live music for the ceremony.

State Representative Paul Demarco read a special proclamation from the Governor designating September 6th as Gynecological Cancer Awareness Day in Alabama, which coincided with September’s national designation as the Awareness Month for Ovarian and GYN Cancers.

Jennifer Smiley shared information about CanSurvive’s upcoming events:  Tickled Teal on Thursday, December 5 and the Moore Life to Live Golf Tournament on Friday, April 25.

* More photographs can be found by clicking on the Photos link. *

Our heartfelt thanks go to Jennifer & Criss Smiley and Kelly and Allan Rice for planning, organizing, and promoting this meaningful awareness event.  Kelly and Allan actually placed the teal gels over the Capitol spotlights.

A chartered bus from Cline Tours transported many people from Birmingham to and from the event.  The Birmingham Doubletree Care committee prepared and distributed a sandwich supper to the passengers.  They also helped load and unload the bus, provided a guest room, served popcorn for us at the event venue, passed out programs, and helped with the lighting ceremony.  Dexter Agee from there was our photographer. The Doubletree Care Committee in Montgomery set up chairs for the event, furnished bottled water, and provided one guest room.

It took many people to make this event a success.  We appreciate the contributions of all these people:

Cline Tours & Lisa, our driver; Montgomery Visitor’s Center, Cheryl Bollinger, director and survivor, and Meg Lewis for sending out event via email; Retirement Systems of Alabama; Allan & Kelly Rice; Jennifer & Criss Smiley; Alabama Fire College; Dr. Max Austin; Angela Dainas; Jennifer Cunningham; Rep. Paul DeMarco; Nan Galik; Dianne Baer;

Oak Mountain Lanes; Lowe’s Hoover, AL — Steve Warren, manager;

Graphic Specialties — Michele Matthews; Taylor Matthews — t-shirt design; Chuck King — trumpet player, vocals, and band organizer;  Tom Dameron — shirt design and tuba player; David Langford —drums; Jay Garrett —trombone player; Doubletree by Hilton Montgomery CARE Committee —Tom Quatrochi, General Manager, &

Shannon Tolbert-CARE Committee Coordinator;  Doubletree by Hilton Birmingham CARE Committee —Melanie Johnston — General Manager; Dexter Agee — photographer; Kitchen staff:   Camellia Kirk, Michelle & Kristian Edwards, Ms. NuMan, Steve Martin, Dorothy Wills, Nicole Kimble, Beverly Carter



Moore Life to Live Golf Tournament

The inaugural Moore Life to Live Golf Tournament was a very successful event on Friday, April 19!  Four patients and CanSurvive  were honored at lunch and will receive grants from the proceeds. Thanks to Cathy Moore for doing this, her friends and CanSurvive sisters who helped, sponsors, golfers, and donors. Check out photos here.  The tournament program can be viewed here.

 Cathy Moore is an ovarian cancer survivor.  In 2013 she established the Moore Life to Live Fund to benefit gynecologic cancer patients and the CanSurvive GYN Cancer Support Group.  Net proceeds of the annual MLTL Golf Tournament will be placed in this fund and then distributed to the recipients.  A cancer diagnosis can lead to many unexpected expenses and put further stress on a patient and her loved ones during a difficult time.  It is Cathy’s hope to help lighten that load for patients.


CanSurvive Members Reach Out to Other Patients During Holidays

In their November 16 meeting, CanSurvive members put together 230 bags for patients receiving treatment during the winter holidays.  The bags contained items we found handy during treatment along with a few surprises and a handwritten note of encouragement.  Thanks to the Doubletree Hotel for providing a room for this and for our lunch and the Doubletree Care Committee for help transporting items, setting up the assembly line, and transporting bags to their destination.



We’d like to thank the many people who procured items and/or donated funds for the bags: Doubletree Hotel; Flavorpic; Hoffman Media; Dr. Perron Tucker of Tucker Cosmetic and Family Dentistry; Dr. Elizabeth S. Jacobson; American Family Care; Cathy Moore; Connie LaMonte; Vicki Daviston; Cheryl Bourn; Allan & Kelly Rice; Jennifer & Criss Smiley; Susan Greene and the NLOCF; Lois Caldwell & Dr. Kevin Alexander; Ginny Bourland; and, Dr. Ron Beasley.


Our advice: Try to maintain your sense of humor!