Central Texas' race season kicked off Sunday with more than 1,500 running in the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition 5K at the Domain in North Austin.
The disease afflicts about 1,500 women in Central Texas each year.
Nora Hughs, President of the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, is five years clear of the disease.
"When somebody's faced with cancer, it’s the scariest thing you can imagine,” she said. “The day before my first chemo treatment I was catatonic. I couldn't talk to my husband, I just wanted to curl up in a ball and I was just scared to death."
While it can be tough to do, doctors say it‘s important to diagnose early.
"There's not a blood test or an X-ray that you can do that's proven to be preventative in diagnosing it early," Dr. Lynne Knowles with Texas Oncology said. “The four symptoms we notice in more frequency of women with ovarian cancer are abdominal or pelvic pain, bloating, early satiety, or feeling full quicker; urinary symptoms."
Diagnosed early, Dr. Knowles says the survival rate can be as high as 80 or 90 percent. But when the cancer is diagnosed at later stages, the likelihood of survival is much worse.
The doctor said post-menopausal women are most at risk, but younger women with cancer in their family should stay on guard.
This was the fifth year for the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition 5K race. Organizers said it brought in about $110,000 for their cause.