Gamecock Soccer Raising Awareness for Ovarian Cancer

Back in black. Garnet on Game Day. South Carolina fans don’t really need a reason to wear their school colors when coming to watch their team, but on Tuesday, Gamecock fans are asked to don a different color at Stone Stadium for the men’s soccer match against Mercer at 7 p.m.

“The University of South Carolina men’s soccer team is supporting Ovarian Cancer Awareness month in September by wearing teal warmup jerseys for their matches and promoting awareness with appearances in the midlands,” said men’s soccer head coach Mark Berson. “There has been a heightened awareness for breast cancer through many events in October, and their color of support is pink. We would like to help promote the same awareness for Ovarian Cancer in the month of September at all our matches and introduce many to the color of support — teal.

“It is an honor for the team to be a part of this wonderful cause, and with the help of the Ovarian Cancer Coalition of Central South Carolina, we will spread the word about a disease that affects so many women; women who are mothers, wives, sisters, grandmothers and more. The information that will be shared and distributed at our home game on Tuesday against Mercer by the Ovarian Cancer Coalition of Central South Carolina is something I know will help raise the awareness level for everyone.”

“Our mission is to educate women on the risk factors and symptoms of ovarian cancer,” said Cathy Novinger, chair of the Ovarian Cancer Coalition of Central South Carolina. “Unlike breast cancer, there is very little awareness of ovarian cancer in today’s world, and there is not a good test for it. I am one of the survivors on the board and a founding member.”

All fans who wear teal to the game will pay only a $1 admission price. In addition to the teal warm up jerseys and shoelaces for the South Carolina team, the Gamecock coaching staff and support staff will be wearing teal polo shirts, while the goalkeeper will be donning a teal jersey. University of South Carolina First Lady Patricia Moore-Pastides is a board member of the Ovarian Cancer Coalition of Central South Carolina and noted that while great strides have been made in curing many other forms of cancer, there is still much work to be done.

“The symptoms of ovarian cancer are similar to a lot of other conditions, so it’s really important to get diagnosed early.”
Patricia Moore-Pastides

“There are a lot of other cancers that are a lot more common, but ovarian cancer tends to be very aggressive, unfortunately,” Moore-Pastides said.

More than 20,000 women per year are diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the United States, and nearly 15,000 will die from the disease, therefore knowing the symptoms is very important.

“We’re trying to raise awareness about the symptoms of ovarian cancer because if people can get themselves diagnosed early, the chances of their success are much greater,” Moore-Pastides said. “Unfortunately, the symptoms of ovarian cancer are similar to a lot of other conditions, so it’s really important to get diagnosed early.”

“It is critical to catch it early,” Novinger added. “Your family history plays into it to some degree. Some of the symptoms are unusual fatigue, lower back pain, bloating or pressure in the stomach, shortness of the breath and frequent urination. Those are very general symptoms that can be associated with other things, so you really have to pay attention. Post-menopausal women are more at-risk. Women also need to know that a Pap smear will not detect ovarian cancer.”

Women are encouraged to consult their physician if they have any concerns. For additional information, visit the Ovarian Cancer Coalition of Central South Carolina web site located at ovariancancermidlands.org.

“We would like to thank, University of South Carolina First Lady, Mrs. Patricia Moore-Pastides, who is the official spokesperson for Ovarian Cancer Coalition of Central South Carolina, and President Harris Pastides for their great work for this cause and for their attendance at our match,” Berson said.