September 14, 2013

Eric Shepperd

Raising awareness of ovarian cancer

Fact: Ovarian cancer accounts for more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system and the rate of survival has not changed in over 30 years.

Unlike other cancers, ovarian cancer is more difficult to detect. Even during a woman’s annual exam, none of the tests performed would screen for ovarian cancer. Due to the lack of a reliable screening tool, most ovarian cancer cases are diagnosed in stage 3 or 4, making it more difficult to cure.

A team of volunteers with the Anne Rita Monahan (ARM) Foundation, the Teal ARMy, is working hard to change this and raise awareness about the signs and symptoms of this deadly disease.


By giving.

In honor of Ovarian Cancer Awareness month in September, the ARM Foundation is hosting the 5th Annual Tea for Teal on Sept. 28 and asking for your help in fighting this deadly disease.

Proceeds raised by the ARM Foundation fund a research study at TGen Focused on collecting 100 patient-matched ovarian tumor and blood samples to establish a tissue and blood bio bank to study mechanisms of ovarian cancer behavior in hopes of finding Biomarkers for earlier detection (when most curable), defining patients at high risk of treatment failure, development of novel therapeutic strategies to overcome drug resistance, and reduced mortality.

Currently the Breast and Ovarian Cancer Research Unit at TGen is leading the study and with enough support they plan to continue their research which will help to understand why ovarian cancer becomes resistant to therapies, develop better drug treatments to address the cancer’s early-stage drug resistance, and aid in the development of a reliable screening tool.

“ARM has donated over $100,000 to TGen in the last four years,” said Jennifer Graves, ARM Foundation president. “With the proceeds from the tea, we hope to be able to get the team at TGen that much closer to their goal of developing a more reliable early detection tool for ovarian cancer.”

The annual event takes place at the Hilton Doubletree Resort in Scottsdale. Guests at the tea will encounter a lively champagne reception and have the opportunity to participate a silent auction, raffle, and hat contest. The traditional English Tea will treat guests to an assortment of finger sandwiches, fresh baked scones and petite desserts.

The ARM foundation also recognizes an ovarian cancer crusader who has made contributions for cancer awareness and has displayed determination and perseverance in their journey.

Previous winners for the crusader award include:
2012- Annette Mattern from the Ovarian Cancer Alliance of Arizona
2011 – Dr. David Silver from the The Women’s Institute for Gynecologic Cancer and Special Pelvic Surgery
2010- Julie Westhoff from the Ovarian Cancer Alliance of Arizona
Aside from honoring an ovarian cancer crusader, the ARM Foundation also awards scholarships to both graduate and undergraduate students to provide financial assistance and to encourage training towards a career in cancer-related research, particularly (but not limited to) research leading to improved healthcare for ovarian cancer patients.

The winners from 2012 include:
•       Graduate Scholarship:
•      Pilar Ramos: PhD Candidate, Molecular & Cellular Biology, Arizona State University
•      Liu Qi Chen: PhD Candidate, Chemistry, University of Arizona
•       Undergraduate Scholarship:
•      Cameron Cripe, Biochemistry & Biology, Arizona State University

To make a donation to the ARM Foundation or learn more about the Tea for Teal Fundraiser, visit