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Our Foundation FAQS

Who Is Paula Cousins’ Mentor When It Comes To Ovarian Cancer?2021-03-30T20:44:17-04:00

In Memory of Sandy Raines (1957-2019)

What is a mentor? Men-tor (noun) an experienced and trusted adviser.  Sandy Raines was, and continues to be my mentor, in fact she was more than that, I am proud and humbled to say that she was my friend. The first time I met Sandy was after I was diagnosed with Ovarian and Endometrial cancer.  I was instantly drawn to her light, and her courage. She shared the fact with me that there is so much more work to be done in our fight.  In fact she radiated the power, strength, and  determination that the Ovarian cancer community, and myself so desperately needed. We shared a common bond in our passion, and frustration about the lack of information and wanting to raise more awareness for the other women’s cancers. To use our experiences as life lessons to other women. I was amazed by her spirit and used her strength as part of my inspiration in starting this foundation. Shortly after our first meeting, she was diagnosed with a recurrence of Ovarian cancer, which unfortunately happens more often than not. To say she fought with all of her might is an understatement. Unfortunately, Sandy lost her courageous battle with ovarian cancer on July 7, 2019. Her amazing husband Bill of 43 years is one of our biggest supporters, and I am forever grateful to him for letting Sandy’s light continue to shine through us. To my friend, my mentor, Sandy we say please rest easy, we have it from here, and I thank you for being my light through the darkness.

How Was The Foundation Started?2021-03-30T20:45:13-04:00

Paula S Cousins Ovarian and Endometrial Cancer Foundation was started in 2019 after Paula in 2018 was diagnosed with a rare form of Ovarian and Endometrial Cancers. In her quest after her diagnosis for any and all information about these deadly cancers, she learned very quickly there was not much to be given. Out of sadness, anger, and the shear will to survive the most deadly gynecological cancer to women, Paula’s Promise was born. At that exact moment, she made a promise to herself and to unsuspecting women who were not aware of the signs and symptoms like herself that that was unacceptable and had to change. At that moment she made a” Promise” to raise awareness and “promise” that NO ONE should fight alone. She used her experience of ignoring her body, and the endless months of cancer treatment, learning the little things that help make the journey a little easier along the way so that other women may not see the same fate. With the help of her amazing family and friends Paula’s Promise was born.

I Know Someone With Ovarian Cancer (Or Another Type Of Cancer) How Do You Provide Support For Them?2021-03-30T20:46:39-04:00

Contact us with their name, address and type of cancer.  We will send  them gift cards for gas and grocery  and a Chemo comfort bag if requested. We will listen and provide support and let them know they are not alone. Encourage a positive outlook and to stay focused. If they want we will add them to our prayer/positive vibe threads. Give them additional resources like genetic counseling if needed. We will keep in touch, and check to see if anything else is needed.

Who Do You Currently Help?2021-03-30T20:48:32-04:00

Currently our foundation helps those in  NW PA, mostly Erie and Crawford Counties at this time.  We have helped cancer patients from a 6 month old baby to  a 80 year old man. Cancer  of types of all kinds.  But if you are out of those areas contact us and we can direct you  to somewhere that provides support in your area.

What Kind Of Donations Do You Take?2021-03-30T20:49:10-04:00

Gift cards for gas and groceries, monetary donation, items for our chemo comfort bags. Which for an example could be new or homemade blankets, hats, slippers..  If we get items that we can’t use we donate them to other local charities.

Do You Public Speaking Events?2021-03-30T20:49:47-04:00

YES!  We have had a speaker at a sorority group, women group and a school before. We enjoy doing them and spreading awareness about signs of Ovarian & Endometrial Cancer.   If you are hosting an event, we could be a speaker or have an informational table set up.

How Can I Contribute To Paula’s Promise?2021-03-30T20:50:36-04:00

Follow us on social media (Facebook, Instagram) like, share, and invite friends to our page.

Volunteer at one of our fundraisers or events or just come and participate in a fundraiser.  Choose Paula S. Cousins Ovarian and Endometrial Cancer Foundation Inc. on Amazon/Smile and started a birthday fundraiser on Facebook.   Monetary donations at any time of the year are very appreciated. Volunteer your time at fundraisers. Are you crafty? How about making items, like lap blankets?

Do You Sell Contact Information?2021-03-30T20:51:15-04:00

No, we never sell any personal information!  In addition, our Positive Vibe/Prayer chains are only at the request of the patient.

Where Can I Drop Off Donation?2021-03-30T20:52:06-04:00

We have a list of locations throughout Erie County that will take donations for our foundation. Always check websites or their Facebook pages for business hours. If none of the locations are convenient you can email us at, direct message us on Facebook or call/text our phone number at 814-731-9566 and we can arrange a pickup.

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Ovarian Cancer FAQS

Can participation in a clinical trial be beneficial for me?2020-12-20T20:59:49-05:00

Participation in a clinical trial may provide access to new and investigational therapy options not available to women outside the clinical trial setting. Clinical trial designs are all screened, approved, and monitored by national health authorities. Patients who enroll in clinical trials should be treated with the best available care. Participation in a clinical trial can empower a patient with the knowledge that their treatment experience may pave the way to better care for women with ovarian cancer in the future.

Why are there so many therapies for ovarian cancer?2020-12-20T20:59:10-05:00

All women and all cancers are different. As a result, there are many different therapies for ovarian cancer. Since individuals have different genetics, health histories, diets, habits, and allergies, people may react differently to available therapies. For example, women with kidney or liver disease may be less able to tolerate the standard first-line therapy for ovarian cancer. Alternate therapies may be needed to ensure safety. Since each person’s cancer is as unique as they are, not all cancer responds to the standard therapy.

How were today’s chemotherapy regimens developed?2020-12-20T20:58:46-05:00

Standard therapies for ovarian cancer are derived from plant extracts, or are synthetic chemicals that were developed by pharmaceutical companies. These medications were tested in clinical trials in women with ovarian cancer, and only agents that displayed safety and anti-cancer effects received approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration. Once treatments receive approval, societies of clinical oncologists review the safety and efficacy information, and develop recommended treatment guidelines.

What steps can be taken to minimize side effects of chemotherapy and maximize safety?2020-12-20T20:58:15-05:00

The most important safety instructions are to closely follow the directions given by the healthcare team and to ask questions whenever something is not clear. Take all medications as directed, and consult with the healthcare team or pharmacist for direction if a dose is missed. It is important to report all symptoms to the healthcare team, and update them with any changes with other health conditions or prescription medications.

Why does chemotherapy often cause unpleasant side effects?2020-12-20T20:57:40-05:00

Chemotherapy is administered in the blood stream, so it circulates throughout the entire body. Chemo targets cells that are rapidly growing and dividing, two important characteristics of cancer cells. However, some healthy cells also grow and divide rapidly. Therefore, those healthy cells in the body are also destroyed by chemotherapy. This causes unpleasant side effects. It is important to speak with the oncologist, because there are treatments and strategies to minimize these side effects.

What are the side effects of chemotherapy?2020-12-20T20:57:08-05:00

Chemotherapy agents typically target cells that are growing and dividing rapidly. The cells that line the digestive system, make hair, and fight viruses and bacteria typically grow at a very rapid rate, so these are often affected by chemotherapy agents. Therefore, patients who are receiving chemotherapy often experience digestive problems (nausea, indigestion, and diarrhea), hair loss, and changes in the color and thickness of their hair, as well as decreases in immune system function (increased rate of infections). Other common side effects include slower wound healing, anemia (reduction in the number of red blood cells, which transport oxygen throughout the body), and fatigue.

What did cancer “grading” and cancer “staging” mean? Why are these important?2020-12-20T20:56:41-05:00

For a complete diagnosis, the doctor will need to determine the features of the cancer cells (grade) and also how much the disease has grown and spread in the body (stage). Grade is important, because the characteristics of the cells are often connected with how the cells behave and how aggressively they will grow. Knowing the stage of the cancer is important, because it helps determine prognosis. Early stage cancers may be more treatable with surgery and chemotherapy, whereas later stage cancers may need more aggressive treatment and long-term care. Both stage and grade are determined after the first surgery and remain constant throughout the patient’s journey with the disease.

What is the CA-125 blood test?2020-12-20T20:56:00-05:00

CA-125 is a protein released by cancer cells that is also made by inflamed normal cells that line body parts. This substance is shed into bodily fluids and finds its way into the bloodstream. A CA- 125 assessment is performed on a blood sample. The assay measures the concentration of CA-125 in the liquid portion of the blood (serum).

CA-125 testing is best used for monitoring changes that might happen in your cancer growth over time.

Please note:About 20% of women who have ovarian cancer never have elevated CA-125 levels. Also, some women have naturally elevated levels of CA-125, so an elevation of this protein does not necessarily mean that cancer is present. That is why it is critical to use CA-125 as part of a diagnostic and monitoring regimen. It is not suitable to use the test as a screening test for the general public.

Is there a screening test for ovarian cancer? How is it detected?2020-12-20T20:55:33-05:00

Unfortunately, there is no accurate screening test for ovarian cancer. It is important to familiarize yourself with the common ovarian cancer symptoms. If symptoms persist daily for 2 weeks or longer, you should speak to your doctor. Every woman should undergo an annual rectal and vaginal pelvic examination. If an irregularity of the ovary is found, alternatives to evaluation include transvaginal ultrasound and/or tumor markers. The most common tumor marker is a blood test called the CA-125.

Is there a link between ovarian cysts and ovarian cancer?2020-12-20T20:55:05-05:00

A healthy ovary produces a normal physiologic cyst with each menstrual cycle in women during the reproductive years (ages 12-52). During menarche, as well as during the perimenopausal period, this normal process occurs less frequently. The normal cyst or follicle contains the egg or ovum and usually is less than 3 cm. in size. After ovulation, this cyst persists in the form of a corpus luteum and is also normal and physiologic. These cysts are rarely greater than 5 cm., resolve with each menstrual cycle, are simple in appearance, and are not suggestive of ovarian cancer. Cysts that persist throughout multiple cycles, are 6 cm. or larger, are complex, or are formed during childhood or after menopause, are considered abnormal. However, the vast majority of these are benign. Further diagnostic evaluation of this group of cysts is warranted, as a very small fraction may be ovarian cancer.

What are the symptoms of ovarian cancer?2020-12-20T20:54:32-05:00

These are some of the potential signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer:

  • Bloating
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain
  • Trouble eating or feeling full quickly
  • Feeling the need to urinate urgently or often

Other symptoms of ovarian cancer can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Upset stomach or heartburn
  • Back pain
  • Pain during sex
  • Constipation or menstrual changes

If symptoms persist for more than two weeks, see your physician. If ovarian cancer is suspected, see a gynecologic oncologist before surgery.

How common is ovarian cancer?2020-12-20T20:54:00-05:00

According to the American Cancer Society, ovarian cancer ranks fifth in cancer deaths among women, but accounts for more deaths than any other gynecologic cancer of the female reproductive system. It is estimated that 14,240 women will die from ovarian cancer in the United States annually, a rate that has changed little in the last 50 years. It is estimated that about 22,280 new cases of ovarian cancer are diagnosed in the United States annually.

Any Questions?

Feel free to reach out to us today!

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