The City of West Hollywood recognizes Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month in September. As part of raising awareness, City Hall and the lanterns along Santa Monica Boulevard are lit in the color teal from September 1, 2022 through September 14, 2022.
While breast cancer is the most common form of cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death among women in the United States, ovarian cancer is the deadliest of gynecologic cancers, with a mortality rate of more than 50 percent. This is because early ovarian tumors are extremely difficult or impossible for even the most skilled examiner to identify through a normal gynecological exam. Other screening tools and tests must be employed to detect ovarian cancer in women who don’t have any symptoms, including genetic testing to help determine a woman’s risk or likelihood of developing ovarian cancer. It is imperative that all high-risk women, even those without symptoms of ovarian cancer, be identified and given the opportunity to receive the most up-to-date screenings as recommended by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF).
Despite ovarian cancer rates being highest among white women, Black women are more likely to die from this disease because of lack of access to health care, socioeconomic disparities, and other causes still under study. All women, regardless of socio-economic status, race, or ethnicity, should be provided with resources needed to protect themselves and their families such as education, outreach, and testing.
The City of West Hollywood has been instrumental in the growth and success of the Ovarian Cancer Circle/Inspired by Robin Babbini since the organization’s inception in 2011. The Circle, founded by Paulinda S. Babbini, is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization aimed at expanding the ring of networking, education and support for women of all ages and their families and friends who may be affected by this disease. Robin Babbini, Paulinda’s daughter, was the inspiration for the Circle. Robin succumbed to ovarian cancer at the early age of 20. As a teenager she worked for several years as a staff member at the City of West Hollywood for the Tiny Tots and Tot Time Program. Lack of an early diagnosis and access to readily accessible public information concerning ovarian cancer contributed to the advancement of her disease and ultimate death. Since its inception, The Circle has raised more than $1 million for ovarian and breast cancer research. The West Hollywood City Council will present a proclamation to Paulinda and the Ovarian Cancer Circle/Inspired by Robin Babbini at its meeting on September 19, 2022 in recognition of the extraordinary work they do.