Survivors of ovarian cancer survivors are hoping to raise more awareness and education about the disease.

The National Cancer Institute estimates there will be more than 20,000 new cases this year and more than 15,000 deaths.

Margaret Hoeft is a Tucsonan who is an ovarian cancer survivor She was diagnosed in 2004 and since has volunteered to educate people about it.

"It's been a long, very good few years because I did not recur and I have not yet, but I'm not out of the woods, because I know two women who have recurred after nine years and after 12 years," Hoeft says.

Hoeft works with the Tucson chapter of the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition and other organizations to put on the Ovarian Cancer Symposium Sept. 1 at the University of Arizona Cancer Center.

Participants will include physician Michael Bookman, an oncologist and professor in the UA College of Medicine.

"Most cancers are actually detected at an early stage, before they've had a chance to spread, and that means the cure rate from surgery is usually quite high," Bookman says. "Ovarian cancer is fundamentally different."

"And often it grows without causing any symptoms until there is extensive disease involvement, and so women and their family and physicians are not generally aware that the cancer might be there and spreading, and it's often detected then at an advanced stage," he adds.

The free symposium will address treatment options, clinical trials and screening.

It will be from 8 a.m. until noon at the UA Cancer Center, at 1515 N. Campbell Ave.

Those interesgted in participating should call the Tucson chapter of National Ovarian Cancer Coalition at (520) 342-4599.