Thinking about cancer or dealing with cancer risk can be scary or overwhelming, but we believe that receiving information and resources is comforting, empowering, and lifesaving.
Ovarian, fallopian tube, and primary peritoneal cancers are very closely related cancers that have been linked to several different inherited mutations. One out of every five women with ovarian cancer will test positive for one of the listed inherited mutations. For this reason, national expert guidelines recommend that every woman diagnosed with ovarian cancer be referred for genetic counseling and testing for an inherited mutation. If you have ever been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and never had genetic counseling, you should ask your doctor for a referral to a genetics expert. This is true even if your diagnosis was many years ago and you are no longer in treatment.
Women with a BRCA or other mutation who develop cancer may benefit from new treatments known as PARP inhibitors or qualify for specific clinical trials. There are two FDA approved drugs for some women with hereditary ovarian cancer. Lynparza (also known as olaparib) is approved to treat ovarian, fallopian tube, and primary peritoneal cancer in women who carry mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2, and who have received three or more chemotherapy treatments. Rubraca (also known as rucaparib) is approved to treat women with advanced ovarian cancer who have had two or more prior treatment and who have inherited mutations in BRCA or whose tumors have BRCA mutations as detected by the FoundationFocus CDxBRCA companion diagnostic.
If you are an ovarian cancer survivor who carries an inherited mutation, ask your doctor if you qualify for any new treatments or clinical trials based on your genetic mutation status. If you are interested in the possibility of participating in a clinical trial, it is best to express your interest when you are first diagnosed or have a recurrence and before you start treatment. Some studies have restrictions on the number or types of cancer treatments previously received by trial participants.