Sharon Leigh Founder/President of the Early Detection Cancer Corporation is very pleased that President Obama on December 23,2010 signed into action Johanna’s Law: The Gynecologic Education and Awareness Act. The 2010 version of Johanna’s Law will continue to allow the Center for disease Control and Prevention to educate women and medical professionals about the signs, symptoms and early detection of gynecologic cancers. The law will let the CDC work with national organizations encourage partnerships and avoid duplication of services and materials.

Also CDC funding could be available to support non-profit organizations as they try to increase awareness of gynecologic cancer symptoms and encourage early detection.

This renews a previous law. The law was originally enacted in 2007 under President Bush and allowed up to $16.5 million to the CDC for a national public service campaign that includes written materials and public service announcements. That campaign was called Inside Knowledge: Get the Facts about Gynecologic Cancer, and it was designed to raise awareness of the five main types of gynecologic cancer: ovarian, cervical, uterine, vaginal and vulvar.

Johanna’s Law is very important because it provides for educational programs for women, the only way currently to reduce the number of deaths from this hideous disease. Death rates from ovarian cancer have remained unacceptably high for more than 30 years; currently, fewer that half of women survive five years from diagnosis. Because there is no reliable early detection test, awareness of symptoms is key to detecting ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer remains the deadliest gynecologic cancer, it is crucial that the message about symptoms be front and center in this campaign.

Johanna Gordon is the sister of Sheryl Silver, Sheryl and I share the same goal to end the mortality rate of this insidious disease.

Johanna and my sister Judy led parallel lives, they both were dynamic women health conscious and regularly visited their gynecologist. Both of these women were taken in the prime of their lives. Not knowing the symptoms contributed to a lengthy and ultimately lethal delay in their diagnosis.

One of the very sad tragedies is that women are frequently misdiagnosed with benign conditions before the correct diagnosis is made.

I want to personally thank Sheryl Silver for her tenacity and deep love for her sister Johanna Gordon, Without this type of perseverance we would not have had this bill in Congress at all. Click here to read more about the law.

Sharon Leigh