Nearly 360 people watched teams go head-to-head on Saturday for the annual Wall Street Challenge tennis match at the Greenwich Country Club in an effort to raise money Ovarian Cancer research.
"There are very few sports related ovarian cancer charities across the United States," said co-chair Melissa Hawks. "So we really feel that we're pioneering, bringing sports together raising money for ovarian cancer."
The event was organized by event chairperson Marjorie Pastel, in memory of her mother who passed away from ovarian cancer. The funds go directly to Mount Sinai's National Ovarian Cancer Early Detection Program, established in 1999 by internationally recognized gynecologic oncologist Dr. David Fishman.
"All cancers are important, but this is my cancer that I care about," said Marjorie Pastel.
"The funds that come in through philanthropic services allow us to take care of women who don't have the finances to come into our office, it allows us to offer health care to those who can't afford it, and it allows us to do basic science research on trying to understand how does this ovarian cancer start, how does it spread and tools to develop new techniques to detecting it early and possibly new treatments."
Fishman says about 22,000 women develop ovarian cancer a year, making is one of the deadly of all gynecologic cancers. He tells us although 90 percent of women who develop ovarian cancer do not have genetic predisposition, family history is a major indicator.
"More women die from ovarian cancer than almost all the other cancers combined, by the time a woman has symptoms of ovarian cancer it's often wide spread and the survival is about 15 percent. If women are found to have cancer early, 90 percent survive so the most important thing we can do now with therapy is to identify a woman at risk so we can prevent them from getting ovarian cancer."
This is the second year the Greenwich Country Club has hosted the event. Organizers say they expect to raise over $200,000.
"Part of the benefits of the research we're doing is trying to identify blood tests, urine tests, tests that can pick up a cancer before it's widespread, but as of today no test in the history of the world has ever existed."