Love Letters from Our Supporters

Throughout the years VOICE has had many caring and loving supporters from all walks of life… we’re a community of artists, politicians, professionals and everyone that was touched by ovarian cancer in one way or another. With that said, we’d like to share some feedback from some of our most powerful voices:

Paula Zahn’s Keynote Speech:

PaulaZahn Thank you very much, Marilyn, Chick and the Varadi Initiative for honoring me tonight. Unfortunately, due to a scheduling conflict, I’m not able to be with you tonight at your dinner dance.

I was looking forward to talking to you in person about the work you are doing now and the impact it has had on women and the community at large. I imagine everyone in the room tonight has in some way been affected by cancer. Both of my parents were diagnosed with caner within weeks of each other – my father with lymphoma, my mother with breast cancer. My father unfortunately lost his battle. My mother, I am proud to say, is a two-time cancer survivor, and we must all fight to insure that there are more survivors.

Over the years, I’ve done a lot of shows and interviews on the subject of cancer and other diseases and one of the most moving was when I interviewed the former Secretary of Health, Tommy Thompson, who discussed his wife’s and his daughter’s battle with cancer. He also talked about the disgrace of health care in the United States and what you, Marilyn, Chick an Dr. Fishman, are doing in conjunction with the NYU School of Medicine and NYU Clinical Cancer Center to increase the awareness of ovarian cancer should be applauded.

The public as well as doctors, nurses, legislators and insurance companies must be made aware of symptoms, tests and treatments available in order to diagnose and treat ovarian cancer. There must also be funds available to support the research and treatment of this disease or it will continue to be the silent killer it is today.

This is a disease to be conquered. 22,000 women are diagnosed every year with ovarian cancer with a death rate as high as 75%. Knowledge is the key word and we must continue to search for it. I look forward to the time when a definitive test like the one Dr. Fishman is developing through the National Ovarian Early Detection Program is available so that the diagnosis of ovarian cancer can be made when the disease is in Stages I and II instead of Stages III and IV.

The late detection of ovarian cancer is the reason for the high rate of death from this disease today. Just this fall I hosted a series for PBS on the war on cancer and it has taken a look at some of the advances being made and the most troubling challenges that still lie ahead.

It is because of groups like yours that some of those challenges seem a little less daunting. Keep raising your voices. Keep getting that lifesaving information out there. I applaud your dedication and fierce determination.

Once again, many thanks and good luck with your initiative and dedication to its goals. Good night.

Carol Channing’s Love Letter to VOICE:

CarolChanningPlease extend to all that support the needs for continuing research for those who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer and/or the early detection of this disease. Also for the hope and encouragement to those who have and who have had this elusive disease.

Please extend my appreciation to the doctors who are on the front lines facing the adversary within the informative field of early detection and correction.

In the late seventies, while still performing and touring with the musical, “Hello Dolly,” throughout the United States, I also had to receive treatments for ovarian cancer. Having completed over 5,000 performances during this long run, I never missed a single performance. Serving others without due regard for rewards or recognition develops a relationship of healing and endearment to many new friends that have offered prayers and encouragement.

Please add my name to the list.

I regret to be absent on this occasion, however, I urge anyone and everyone to support this noble effort.

With deepest love

Gratitude from Mt. Sinai:

MtSinaiThank you for the Varadi Ovarian Initiative for Cancer Education’s gift to the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai to establish the Marilyn M. Varadi and Charles G. Rudy Gynecologic Oncology Research Fund.

We are so fortunate to have dedicated friends like you who are focusing on supporting patient care and innovation in the field of science and medicine.

Mount Sinai is internationally acclaimed for outstanding health care, innovative education, pioneering research, and community service. The continued involvement of VOICE is essential in upholding our legacy of medical excellence and advancing our great tradition of compassion medicine.

With Gratitude,
Mark Kostegan, FAHP
Chief Development Officer
Senior Vice President for Development,
Mount Sinai Health System

About Ovarian Cancer

  • Approximately 21,880 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year in the U.S. and 13,850 die from the disease.
  • Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer death among U.S. women and equals approximately the number of deaths from all other gynecologic malignancies combined.
  • The majority of women are diagnosed when the disease has reached an advanced stage, however if detected early, the survival rate is more than 90%.

Risk Factors

There is no way to know for sure if you will get ovarian cancer. Most women with ovarian cancer are not at high risk. However, several factors may increase your risk for ovarian cancer, including if you:

  • Are over 40. Ovarian cancer generally strikes after age 40, with the greatest number of cases occurring in women age 60 and older.
  • Have close family members, such as your mother, sister, aunt, or grandmother, on either your mother’s or your father’s side, who have had ovarian cancer.
  • Have a genetic mutation such as BRCA1, BRCA2, or other mutations associated with an increased risk such as those seen with colon cancer syndromes.
  • Have had breast, uterine, or colorectal (colon) cancer.
  • Have an Eastern European (Ashkenazi) Jewish background.
  • Have never given birth or have had trouble getting pregnant.
  • Have endometriosis, a condition in which tissue from the lining of the uterus grows elsewhere in the body.


There is no known way to prevent ovarian cancer. However, lower rates of ovarian cancer have been detected in women who:

  • Have used birth control pills for more than five years
  • Have had their “tubes tied” (tubal ligation)
  • Have had both ovaries and fallopian tubes removed or a complete hysterectomy n Have had multiple births


  • Vague but persistent and unexplained gastrointestinal complaints such as gas, nausea and indigestion
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain (the area below your stomach and between your hip bones)
  • Backache
  • Bloating
  • Feeling full quickly while eating
  • Unexplained weight loss or weight gain
  • Unexplained changes in bowel habits
  • Frequency and/or urgency of urination
  • Vaginal bleeding or abnormal discharge from your vagina


Pay attention to your body, and know what is normal for you. See a doctor if you have any of these symptoms, they persist for two weeks or longer and they are not normal for you. These symptoms may be caused by something other than cancer, but the only way to know is to see a doctor. The earlier ovarian cancer is found and treated, the more likely treatment will be effective.