Jewel Of An Evening Sheds Light on Gynecologic Cancers
Published: 3/22/2009

MADISON – "Is it me, or is it really hot in here?" asked Diane Stewart, standing at a podium at the Monona Terrace, recounting her year-long struggle with advanced ovarian cancer.

Suddenly, Stewart shed the colorful wrap around her shoulders, then turned around and began unbuttoning her blouse. Just as bemused rumblings began spreading through the crowd, Stewart turned back around to reveal a gray t-shirt with the words "Cancer Sucks" emblazoned across the chest.

A knowing laughter erupted from the audience, filled with gynecologic cancer survivors and their loved ones. But another theme soon emerged at the Sept. 19 "Jewel of an Evening" event to raise funds and awareness for the University of Wisconsin Gynecologic Oncology Program – it's possible not just to survive, but to actually thrive in the midst of a devastating cancer diagnosis.

Advances in Research, Detection and Treatment

As 80 candles flickered to represent the 80,000 women who get gynecologic cancer each year, UW Health gynecologic oncologist Ellen Hartenbach, MD, noted that ovarian cancer has developed a reputation as a "silent killer" since it's often difficult to detect. But that ominous reputation is changing, Hartenbach said, thanks to screening and treatment research underway at the University of Wisconsin Paul P. Carbone Comprehensive Cancer Center and elsewhere.