Kicking ‘the silent killer’: Local women find strength in ovarian cancer support group


From L to R: Kay Bonn, JoAnn Vance, Patti Kunkel and Barbara Young sport their teal in recognition of ovarian cancer awareness. They get together at least once a month to give advice, support and love to one another.

Jennie KcKeon
Published: Friday, September 27, 2013 at 05:17 PM.

It's the club that nobody wants to join, said Destin resident Kay Bonn.

According to the American Cancer Society, 1 in 72 women in the United States will develop ovarian cancer in her lifetime. While two of three cases occur in women over the age of 55, younger women are still at risk, as well as women with a personal history of breast, uterus, colon or rectal cancers.

During the month of September, also known as Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, it’s as good a time as any to get informed. Armed with knowledge and first-hand experiences, Bonn and several local women are on a mission to inform women of all ages about ovarian cancer.

Bonn was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2010.

"I hadn't given ovarian cancer a thought," she said. "After a certain age, you think all of that stuff is over."

She was consulting with her gynecologist over urinary issues and wasn't prepared for her diagnosis. She had Stage 3 ovarian cancer. She began treatment and after 13 months of remission, she started treatment again in August 2011. Since March, her cancer is in remission again and her hair is starting to grow back.

Today, she cannot stress enough the importance of knowing all of the symptoms of ovarian cancer, which is known as "the silent killer" because symptoms are vague and often not diagnosed until reaching an advanced stage.

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