This blog will cover topics of interest that affect our community. Unless otherwise stated, the blog articles will be written by Sue Friedman, Executive Director of FORCE.

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How the XRAYS Program Can Help You Understand Ovarian Cancer

September 19, 2016

Over 20,000 women each year are diagnosed with ovarian cancer, affecting both those diagnosed and their loved ones. An integral aspect of our mission for the XRAYS (eXamining Relevance of Articles for Young Survivors) program is to inform our readers, specifically young survivors, with timely and accurate information to help them make sense of the latest headlines about breast cancer as well as ovarian cancer and other related hereditary cancers.

During the month of September, as part of Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer (HBOC) Week, XRAYS will continue to share the most up to date studies on breast cancer risks, research, and treatment that specifically meets the needs of young survivors. As a trustworthy and reliable source of information, XRAYS sorts through headlines, finding studies that are not only relevant to our audience, but offer accurate information.

Know Your Options

For those affected by breast and ovarian cancer, knowing your options when it comes to genetic testing can greatly affect future treatment decisions. This is why understanding the latest research is important for young survivors.

Researchers have begun to study how various mutations, outside of BRCA, may be associated with an increased risk for ovarian cancer. One specific study reviewed by XRAYS found that mutations in BRIP1 moderately increased ovarian cancer risk (a 6% lifetime risk of ovarian cancer compared to up to 50% for BRCA).

As researchers begin to identify and catalogue different gene mutations that may increase a person’s susceptibility to cancer, it’s important to continue to work with your health care provider to determine which screenings are appropriate. A recent study reviewed by XRAYS found that increasing the number of genes examined for mutations is useful for ovarian cancer patients. Another study also examined gene mutations beyond those currently associated with hereditary cancer syndromes.

In a report by the Institute of Medicine regarding the state of ovarian cancer research and care, researchers advocated for health care providers to offer recommendations to improve risk prediction, prevention, early detection, and care. As with previous studies, the report urged young breast cancer survivors to pursue genetic counseling and testing.

Understanding the most up to date news articles and headlines about genetic mutations associated with breast and ovarian cancer can be time consuming and confusing. However, with the help of the XRAYS program, young survivors have access to a source that provides reliable, evidence-based research, all with their specific health information needs in mind. At XRAYS, we believe that with knowledge comes the power of prevention.

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