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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release September 17, 1999




Ovarian cancer is a devastating disease that takes the lives of thousands of women in our Nation each year. Since 1985, there has been a dramatic increase in the incidence of ovarian cancer, with a 30 percent increase in the number of women diagnosed with the disease and an 18 percent increase in the number of fatalities. Ovarian cancer is particularly deadly, killing nearly 15,000 women each year. It is often not diagnosed until the cancer is in the late stages of development, limiting the effectiveness of treatment and reducing the chances of survival. In its late stages, the chances of survival from ovarian cancer are just 25 percent; when it is detected early, before the cancer spreads, the survival rate exceeds 90 percent.

Our most effective weapon in the battle against ovarian cancer is early detection. Subtle but recognizable symptoms, such as bloating, vague abdominal pain and discomfort, gastrointestinal problems, back pain, and fatigue can also be symptoms of other less serious illnesses, but women who are experiencing such early warning signs should consult their doctors immediately for appropriate tests.

Doctors and researchers have identified factors that put women at higher risk of developing ovarian cancer, including a family history of breast and ovarian cancer, a high fat diet, never having had children, or infertility. It is vital that women learn about risk factors and visit their doctors regularly.

As we observe Ovarian Cancer Awareness Week, let us build on our efforts to eradicate this serious disease and urge all American women and their families to learn more about ovarian cancer, its symptoms, and available methods that may reduce the risk of developing it. By increasing awareness of early warning signs and risk factors, maintaining a healthy diet, and consulting regularly with health care professionals, women across America can lead healthier and longer lives and help our Nation win the fight against ovarian cancer.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim September 19 through September 25, 1999, as Ovarian Cancer Awareness Week. I encourage the American people to observe this week with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this seventeenth day of September, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-fourth.


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