How to help women with ovarian cancer advocate for their health


Annette Leal Mattern, President and Co-Founder of the Ovarian Cancer Alliance of Arizona, offers advice and shares how she advocates for the health of women with ovarian cancer.

Transcript Women with ovarian cancer first need to start sorting through the enormity of the diagnosis and realize that they need to approach this one step at a time and not to think about the totality of the chemotherapy, and will there be more surgeries, and will it recur, and when will I die, because those things are not happening right now. What is happening right now needs to be dealt with right now, and then we start the steps and deal with tomorrow’s problem tomorrow. Otherwise, you just will not do it. It’s too intense, it’s just too much, and that’s true, I think, of probably any cancer treatment. So I tell women to just take a moment and let’s start sorting through what are the immediate real-time issues that we need to focus on. The next thing that I encourage them to do is to, first of all, know that they’re not alone and to not lose hope. We are living in a remarkable time. There are so many improvements happening in medical science, in research, and I encourage women wherever they are in their journey, stay in the best condition possible for five years. All of this is going to change in about five years. So if that means getting rid of difficult things in your life that you can shed, if there are things that are keeping you from being happy, if you need to exercise more or live a healthier life, whatever you need to do to get your body to the best possible place and to get your mind and spirit strong, it’s going to help you with this journey.
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  • Annette Leal Mattern

    Annette Leal Mattern Ovarian Cancer Advocate Annette has lived with ovarian cancer for over 23 years, with many recurrences and treatments. In 2008, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Wishing to give her life greater purpose, she left a corporate career to devote her energy to helping women cope with cancer. Annette serves as President of the board of directors of Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, representing the voice of 170,000 survivors of the disease. In 2008, she co-founded Ovarian Cancer Alliance of Arizona, and serves as its pre more about this expert »

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