SLOCA Educates Public Throughout Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month; Commemorates 20 Years Of St. Louis Area ServiceST. LOUIS - St. Louis Ovarian Cancer Awareness (SLOCA) is ramping up efforts to educate the public on ovarian cancer’s impact this September, National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Now in its 20th year of service, the organization will be hosting community events throughout September and October that serve as an invitation to community members, and women, in particular, to attend and learn about the four most common symptoms (“Watch 4 the Signs”), support those battling ovarian cancer and remember loved ones, and help fund ovarian cancer research.

Overall signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer may include:
  • Abdominal bloating or swelling.
  • Quickly feeling full when eating.
  • Weight loss.
  • Discomfort in the pelvic area.
  • Fatigue.
  • Back pain.
  • Changes in bowel habits, such as constipation.
  • A frequent need to urinate.

SLOCA is the only nonprofit in Missouri devoted solely to ovarian cancer awareness and survivor support. The organization was founded in 2002 by seven women battling ovarian cancer and has since invested $540k in funding research for ovarian cancer and educated tens of thousands through local health fairs and community events. This September and October, the public can register for the following events to learn more about ovarian cancer’s impact, show their support, and contribute to SLOCA’s mission:

  • September 20: 10th Annual Teal Toes for SLOCA at Nail Pro in Des Peres, MO 10 am-8 pm
  • September 10-11: Kendra Scott Giveback where a portion of both in-store and online sales will be donated back to SLOCA (CODE: GIVEBACK-CGWKM)
  • October 9: 16th Annual Families Run for Ovarian Cancer ROC Star 5k at Soldier’s Memorial

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Most women who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer have had one or more of the four common symptoms: bloating, abdominal or pelvic pain, difficulty eating or feeling full quickly, and urinary symptoms (urgency or frequency). Through continued outreach and events, SLOCA hopes to increase early detection of ovarian cancer by educating women on how to “Watch 4 The Signs,” as well as address common misconceptions, such as the fact that a pap smear does not screen for ovarian cancer.

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“One of our greatest challenges we face here at SLOCA is that there is no early detection screening for ovarian cancer and that symptoms are not widely known by the general public,” said Susan Robben, Executive Director of SLOCA and an ovarian cancer survivor. “According to the CDC State Cancer Profiles from 2020, about 168 new cases are diagnosed annually in the St. Louis Metro area. 136 are diagnosed in the late stages when treatment options and survival rates are low. By promoting awareness of early warning signs and symptoms, we are striving to positively impact ovarian cancer survivorship.”

According to the American Cancer Society, in 2022, about 19,880 women in the United States will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer. At SLOCA, alongside community and annual events, additional resources such as ovarian cancer support groups, peer-based mentoring (“Woman to Woman Program”), a patient need fund (“Together in Teal”), “Sister Boxes” for newly diagnosed women, and much more are available to those battling ovarian cancer. The State of Missouri and St. Louis County have issued formal proclamations recognizing September as Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month with a reminder to Missouri women to know the risk factors, listen to their bodies, and advocate for their health.

“It is our mission that the work we do here at SLOCA not only provides support but offers a community to those affected by ovarian cancer, whether they face a cancer diagnosis themselves or are standing by a loved one,” said Robben. “During Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, by inspiring the local St. Louis community to get involved in our cause and learn more about this disease that touches so many lives, we hope to continue to support past, present, and future survivors.”

Community members who would like to support SLOCA’s ongoing efforts can donate at any time or participate in their various events throughout September and October. Visit to learn more, donate, and get involved.

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