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Thousands run in D.C. to fight women's cancers

Monday - 11/4/2013, 4:50am  ET

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The 200-strong team of surgeons participated in the Race To End Women's Cancer. (WTOP/Bob Madigan)
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WASHINGTON - For women, "below the belt" cancers can be killers.

Cervical, ovarian, vaginal, vulvar and uterine cancers are reserved just for them. And 1/3 of the more than 90,000 women diagnosed each year will lose their battle.

These reproductive cancers affect women of all ages - from their teens and 20s through their 80s. And it's for that reason The National Race to End Women's Cancer 8K was run through D.C. on Nov. 2.

Among the fastest runners was GYN oncologist surgeon Dr. Linda Duska of the University of Virginia. The mother of four also is the captain of the 200-strong surgeons' team for the race.

Cervical cancer is almost entirely preventable through early vaccination and routine screening.

"Hopefully, if this country can adopt the HPV vaccine the way Australia has ... we could get rid of cervical cancer all together," says Duska.

For ovarian cancer there are, "some really wonderful models for personalized medicine that in the next 10 years are projected to be really successful. Already women are living a lot longer, with disease, than they used to 10 years ago. So, that's huge."

At the race, more than 3,000 runners and walkers were cheered across the finish line by the Chantilly High School Charger cheerleaders. Sunday's efforts raised more than $550,000.

And, while the race may have already been run, the fund-raising continues for at least another week at the Donation Page of National Race to End Women's Cancer.

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