Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Awareness week

Although not typically a thing in Australia yet, in the United States, the month of September is ovarian cancer awareness month and October is breast cancer awareness month. The week in between these months has become the hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (HBOC) awareness week. The aim of HBOC awareness week is to raise awareness of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer and other related cancers. It also increases awareness of people with either a strong family history of these types of cancers or people or families with a genetic predisposition to breast and ovarian cancer, for example, having a gene change or mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2 or other related genes. People with a gene change predisposing to cancer but who have not had cancer themselves are sometimes referred to as previvors as opposed to the cancer survivors who have had cancer.

Different support groups are conducting various events to mark the week. One such group is called FORCE and the link is below.

http://www.facingourrisk.org/get-involved/events/special-event.php

I have recorded a podcast, which will become live during this week to help raise awareness. I have three fantastic guests. They are Ellen Matlof from My Gene Counsel who is a certified genetic counselor in the USA. My second guest is a lady called Nicole who has recently found out that she has a BRCA2 mutation. She hasn’t had cancer herself but has a family history of cancer. My third guest is Krystal Barter who is the founder of Pink Hope and she has a BRCA1 mutation.

For more information about genetic counselling and testing for a predisposition to cancer, please see the following links:

https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/hereditary-breast-ovarian-cancer-syndrome/

http://www.genetics.edu.au/publications-and-resources/facts-sheets/fact-sheet-32-breast-and-ovarian-cancer-and-inherited-predisposition

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