Fletcher Allen, a Vermont university hospital and medical center, serves all of
Vermont and the northern New York region. Located in Burlington, Fletcher Allen is a regional, academic healthcare center and teaching hospital in alliance with the University of Vermont.
A $90,000 Gift from the Mary Haas Ovarian Cancer Early Detection Foundation Creates Early Detection Program at Fletcher Allen
September 15, 2011
Marketing and Communications
BURLINGTON, VT – Fletcher Allen announced today that it has received a $90,000 gift from the Vermont-based Mary Haas Ovarian Cancer Early Detection Foundation. The money will be used to equip primary care providers with the information they need to make ovarian cancer screening a routine part of their patient care practice in an effort to detect this disease in its early stages.
“We are deeply honored that the Mary Haas Foundation has chosen to make this gift to Fletcher Allen,” said John Brumsted, M.D., interim chief executive officer. “This gift will enable us to improve our efforts in early detection of ovarian cancer in the primary care setting. Our hope is that the practices we implement because of this gift will become a national model and have a positive impact on women’s health beyond Fletcher Allen.”
“While others lead in seeking a cure for cancer, the Mary Haas Foundation is focused on saving lives now through early detection,” said Meredith Burak, foundation president and daughter of the late Mary Haas. “Through this partnership with Fletcher Allen we will be able to reach a significant number of women in Vermont through their health care providers in an efficient manner.”
Because early detection is infrequent, ovarian cancer is nicknamed the “silent killer.” In its early stages, symptoms can go unnoticed or are thought to be associated with various other disorders. As a result, more than 75 percent of ovarian cancer patients are diagnosed at an advanced stage (Stage III or IV), leaving a fifteen to thirty percent chance of survival. However, if caught early enough (Stage I or II) women have a ninety percent chance of surviving this form of cancer for at least five years or more. If diagnosed early the overall survival rate is 93%; however, only 19% of ovarian cancer is diagnosed at the earliest stage.
The disease may signal its presence with vague symptoms, even in early-stage ovarian cancer. These symptoms include recent, frequent bloating; pain in the belly or pelvis; difficulty eating or feeling full quickly; or urinary problems, such as an urgent need to urinate or urinating more often than usual.
Other symptoms that women with ovarian cancer may have include fatigue, indigestion, back pain, pain with intercourse, constipation, and changes in their menstrual cycles. But these symptoms are also common in women who don't have ovarian cancer.
If these symptoms are new and unusual, and persist daily for more than two weeks, a woman should see her doctor and ask about ovarian cancer.
About The Mary Haas Ovarian Cancer Early Detection Foundation
The Mary Haas Ovarian Cancer Early Detection Foundation was established in honor of longtime Vermont resident and 30-year Merrill Lynch veteran Mary Haas who lost her battle with ovarian cancer on July 12, 2009, only fifteen months after being diagnosed.
Composed of volunteers, the Mary Haas Foundation is using all funds raised to fulfill the simple, unmet and dire need of timely diagnosis of ovarian cancer by: designing a partnership with Fletcher Allen Health Care, Vermont’s academic medical center, located in Burlington, VT; establishing The Mary Haas Ovarian Cancer Research Fellow at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City; and organizing awareness programs in Vermont, New York and soon in Massachusetts. To learn more, visit our website at www.maryhaasfoundation.org.