NEW YORK, Sept. 1, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance (OCRA), the largest global organization dedicated to eradicating ovarian cancer, is leveraging Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month this September to urge women and men with a family history of ovarian or related cancers to proactively undergo genetic testing to assess their risk of ovarian cancer. To help facilitate this, OCRA is offering a pilot program for free at-home genetic testing to qualified individuals. And in a pioneering move, OCRA also advocates for consideration of prophylactic surgery if undergoing another pelvic surgery, even among those at average risk, as a potentially life-saving measure.
Audra Moran, President and CEO of OCRA, emphasized the critical role of genetic testing in identifying those at risk: “Ovarian cancer is a formidable adversary. However, we have a powerful tool at our disposal to significantly reduce the risk – genetic testing. While ovarian cancer is considered rare, individuals with a genetic mutation face a staggering risk increase to 40-50% or even higher. Knowing your risk level is paramount.”
The new campaign promotes awareness of individual risk levels, advocating genetic testing for high-risk populations, and urging women and individuals with ovaries – including those at average risk – to contemplate fallopian tube removal during pelvic surgeries (opportunistic salpingectomy).
OCRA has launched a pilot program to distribute complimentary at-home genetic testing kits to qualified individuals with a personal or family history of breast, ovarian, uterine, or colorectal cancer. So far, OCRA has provided 1041 free genetic test kits to people who qualify, and of those, 58 have come back as having a genetic mutation, providing them with the opportunity to take preventative action that could save their lives.
“Genetic testing is the key to unlocking crucial information about ovarian cancer risk. Nearly 20% of ovarian cancer patients carry a genetic mutation that likely triggered their cancer. This is among the highest rates of inherited mutations in any cancer. Discovering such mutations before the onset of ovarian cancer presents a significant opportunity for prevention,” said Moran.
Scientists have determined that the most prevalent and lethal form of ovarian cancer originates in the fallopian tubes, with microscopic precursor lesions developing long before symptoms emerge. OCRA is, therefore, urging individuals undergoing pelvic surgery to consult with their physician about removing the fallopian tubes. For those at average risk, this can preserve the ovaries, avoiding surgical menopause while drastically reducing the risk of ovarian cancer.
About OCRA: Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance (OCRA) is the foremost global organization dedicated to advancing ovarian cancer research while supporting women and their families. OCRA’s mission is to provide support and advocate for ovarian cancer patients while funding research to prevent, better treat and ultimately cure ovarian cancer. Founded in 1994, OCRA has provided $122 million for research that has led to innovative advancements in ovarian cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.
SOURCE Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance
Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/ovarian-cancer-research-alliance-advocates-for-genetic-testing-during-ovarian-cancer-awareness-month-301915212.html
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