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Quilt Kicks Off Gynecologic Cancer Month

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Duke Health News 919-660-1306

DURHAM, N.C. - Representatives from the Triangle Chapter of the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition will present a quilt on Monday, Aug. 30, to the Gynecologic Oncology Program at Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center honoring Duke's ovarian cancer patients and care staff.

The presentation of the quilt, created by volunteers familiar with the patients, recognizes September as National Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month. In addition, Gov. Jim Hunt has declared September Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month in North Carolina.

Many of the panels in Duke's ovarian cancer quilt honor the Rev. Andrea Pfaff, who died of ovarian cancer last fall at the age of 56. Originally from Asheville, Pfaff was serving as an associate minister at Hudson Memorial Presbyterian Church in North Raleigh. Her battle with ovarian cancer lasted six years, while average survival after diagnosis is just three and a half. Duke's quilt will be on permanent display, though the location has not yet been selected.

A dozen national and local ovarian cancer quilts will be displayed from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sept. 16 in the entrance hallway of the Morris Cancer Clinic at Duke University Medical Center. A book will accompany each quilt to explain the history of each panel for whom the panel was made and who made it - and to tell the personal story of ovarian cancer.

Ovarian cancer will be newly diagnosed in about 25,200 women in the United States in 1999, according to the American Cancer Society. The disease will claim about half that many lives in 1999, taking an estimated 14,500 women and making it the leading cause of death among cancers of the female reproductive system.

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