Farmington Hills City Hall goes teal for ovarian cancer awareness

A flutter of teal ribbons attached to poles and posts around Farmington Hills City Hall this month draw attention to a disease that kills about 14,000 Americans every year.

Sixteen-year survivor Elaine Greenberg said Monday that doctors still don’t have a reliable test to diagnose ovarian cancer. She told city council members that the number of deaths sticks in her mind.

“That’s because that number hasn’t changed since the ACS (American Cancer Society) declared war on cancer, and that was since President Nixon was in the White House,” she said.

Greenberg, who accepted a proclamation for National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, organizes an annual jazz concert to raise funds for Living For Music, Inc., a nonprofit she and her husband, Shelly, started to bring comfort to people undergoing cancer treatment. Also at the meeting, 48-year ovarian cancer survivor Sharon Rockland said women of all ages are affected by ovarian cancer, from children to the elderly.

The majority of diagnoses come from women being aware when bloating, difficulty eating and feeling full after the first bite, pelvic or abdominal pain, and urinary symptoms and frequency, happen more than a dozen times in a month.

“What we depend on is women being aware of what the symptoms are,” she said. “Know if they’re unusual for you.”