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Positive Results Blog



A blog by the authors of Positive Results: Making the Best Decisions When You're at High Risk for Breast or Ovarian Cancer



Updated: 2017-12-04T18:37:37.167-08:00

 



Thinking about BRCA prevention 10 years after mastectomies

2016-12-15T13:44:43.056-08:00

As we approach January 2017 I am approaching the 10-year anniversary of when I removed my breasts to prevent breast cancer due to my BRCA2 mutation (January 11, 2007).  I am immensely grateful to arrive at this season fully healthy and having never experienced the cancer my mother faced when she was a decade younger than I am now.  I am also grateful for the role that my BRCA mentors played (image)



Ending the family legacy of breast cancer

2014-10-27T19:21:06.527-07:00

This week CBS's 60 Minutes took an in depth view of PGD -- preimplantation genetic diagnosis -- in a segment called "Breeding Out Disease."  PGD is actually a technology that has been in use for several years and we discussed it in Positive Results. Use of  PGD though is becoming increasingly commonplace.  Where a few years ago the only couples considering this technology likely would have been (image)



Happy Previvor Day!

2014-10-01T11:29:32.239-07:00

This year National Previvor Day coincides with the first day of Breast Cancer Awareness Month just in time to reinforce the message that women who are at high risk for breast cancer need to be aware of their risk in order to have effective options for preventing disease and/or for detecting it at its earliest and most curable stage.  Do you know if you are at genetic risk for breast or ovarian (image)



Breaking News!!! Supreme Court Invalidates Patents on BRCA Genes!

2013-06-13T13:02:16.529-07:00

Today the United States Supreme Court made history when it unanimously ruled that the Myriad Genetics’ patents on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes were invalid. Specifically, the court ruled: “It is undisputed that Myriad did not create or alter any of the genetic information encoded in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. The location and order of the nucleotides existed in nature before Myriad found them. (image)



Angelina Jolie’s Mastectomies: What All Women Need to Know

2013-05-16T09:49:12.865-07:00

In light of Angelina Jolie’s announcement that she underwent a double mastectomy to prevent breast cancer, Books for Better Living asked Joi Morris, a woman who went through a similar ordeal, to share what every woman needs to know about hereditary breast and ovarian cancer risk.  The following article appears on the Books for Better Living website. Angelina Jolie has made a career of playing (image)



Angelina Jolie's mastectomies affirm that knowledge is power

2013-05-14T16:45:04.482-07:00

I awoke today to dozens of emails from friends and family sending me links to Angelina Jolie's New York Times article about her decision to undergo preventive mastectomies because she is BRCA1 positive. This is indeed big news, mostly for Angelina Jolie and her family, but also for all of us who are part of the big "BRCA family." Those of us who have made the same life changing decision to (image)



Supreme Court hears arguments today on BRCA gene patents

2013-04-15T14:21:39.673-07:00

Today is a big day for the HBOC community. It would be impossible to miss the news that the Supreme Court is hearing arguments today in the case known as The Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, a case that has been winding its way through the court system for more than two years. I awoke this morning to an excellent story by Nina Totenberg of NPR wherein she states that "(image)



National HBOC Week

2012-09-23T12:18:49.291-07:00

National HBOC week starts today.  As I mentioned in my Ms. Magazine blog post about HBOC week,  most people don't yet know about Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer week even though Congress created this recognition more than two years ago. Friends, please read and share this blog post by FORCE founder Sue Friedman and help us get the word out about Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer.(image)



A husband's BRCA birthday wish:

2012-09-14T09:48:33.222-07:00

Friends, check out this heartfelt birthday video by Steve Hofstetter in tribute to his wife and FORCE: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License. Inquiries regarding rights should be directed to the authors.(image)



Ovarian Cancer Screening Ineffective

2012-09-11T13:12:34.786-07:00

Yesterday the New York Times reported on the utter futility of screening for ovarian cancer.  The United States Preventive Services Task Force this week again confirmed that ovarian cancer screening, such as it is, fails to save lives.  Moreover, the USPSTF determined that screening may cause more harm than good in healthy average risk women because of false positives that lead to unnecessary (image)



My most recent response to Dr. Oransky

2012-06-14T18:23:33.317-07:00

Dear readers, There is a rather heated discussion going on with Dr. Oransky on his blog about how to define the term "previvor" and whether Dr. Oransky appropriately used the term in his TedMed talk in recent weeks.  Check out Tuesday's blog below for the full history of this issue. In the meantime, I thought you might like to see my most recent response to Dr. Oransky.  Dr. Oransky's response (image)



Is your doctor or genetic counselor a disease monger?

2012-06-12T16:01:44.234-07:00

Diseasemongering. Wow, what an ugly term. And one I had never thought would be associated with a doctor's counseling of patients with BRCA mutations that cause significantly increased risk for breast and ovarian cancer. Yet this is precisely what one speaker did in a recent TedMed presentation. For those unfamiliar with TedMed this is what it is: TEDMED is a community of people who are (image)



Celebrate the Women in Your Life

2012-06-07T12:07:38.951-07:00

Our Honorees: Jan, Linee, Monica, and Charite Photos by Lyndsey Yeomans Jack and Lola Photography  Celebrate the Women in Your Life was a celebration of life, love, friendship and honor.  Sunday June 4th in Venice, California more than 100 FORCE friends and family came together to celebrate the women in our lives and to raise money for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer research.  Our (image)



0 Comments

2012-05-08T13:53:41.352-07:00

Event registration for Celebrate the Women In Your Life powered by Eventbrite This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License. Inquiries regarding rights should be directed to the authors.(image)



Predicting response to chemotherapy

2012-04-19T11:05:53.649-07:00

Predicting response to chemotherapy and likelihood of cancer recurrence is the name of the game these days.  New tools are currently available for women diagnosed with breast cancer and include the OncotypeDX and Mammaprint tests.  Both test help predict which early breast cancers are most likely to recur and can help guide treatment options.  There are key differences between the tests so be (image)



A fantastic new BRCA decision tool

2012-04-16T07:00:14.743-07:00

Stanford University Medical School, specifically Dr. Allison W. Kurian and Dr. Sylvia K. Plevritis, have developed and published new online tool to help BRCA-positive women who have never been diagnosed with cancer make decisions about the impact of certain screening and surgical prevention options on the future risk of breast and ovarian cancer and of dying from these cancers.  I didn't comment (image)



An open letter response to a Cornell Sun blog post

2012-04-13T10:37:43.763-07:00

This morning Google alerts picked up a blog post in the Cornell Sun that I felt I could not let pass without response.  The student blogger was reporting on a class where testing for BRCA mutations and preventive surgery to avoid breast and ovarian cancer was much criticized by the lecturer.  You can find the original blog post here. I could not leave this without response so I sent the (image)



Ovarian Cancer Research Needs You!

2012-02-23T10:03:44.446-08:00

A guest post from FORCE founder Sue Friedman about an important research need: If you were one of the high-risk women who participated in the large GOG-199 research study, thank you for helping advance critical research that will lead to better health outcomes for our community. Your continued participation in a related study, which is easy and involves only a simple annual questionnaire, will (image)



JAMA publishes new study on BRCA mutations and improved ovarian cancer survival

2012-01-25T12:16:51.330-08:00

Today's issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association includes an important new article on improved ovarian cancer survival for BRCA mutation carriers co-authored by Dr. Ora Gordon, co-author of Positive Results. A link to the JAMA article can be found here. A summary of the study's conclusion is that for patient's diagnosed with epithelial ovarian cancer, both BRCA1 mutations and (image)



Mastectomies: The five year update

2012-01-16T10:41:40.542-08:00

Five years ago today my husband drove me home from the hospital after my prophylactic mastectomies.  I was nauseous in the car but anxious to be home in my own bed.  My youngest son, who was eight at the time, was finding it difficult to sleep without me home.  Once I was home, all was right in his world, regardless of the fact that I could do virtually noting for him. For the next week, after my(image)



Dr. Ora Gordon discusses preventing breast cancer on CBS

2011-12-08T14:59:20.883-08:00

A new report released this week concludes that there are lifestyle changes women can take to reduce breast cancer risk.  As readers of Positive Results know, we devoted an entire chapter to this important topic and we welcome further research in this area, which is as of yet far from clear. Here is a short summary of the conclusions reached in the Institute of Medicine Report released this week(image)



Dr. Ora Gordon on CNN with Dr. Drew

2011-12-07T20:53:56.870-08:00

Here is the link to Dr. Gordon's CNN interview on Dr. Drew, which aired yesterday: http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2011/12/06/exp-drew-breast-cancerr-hln.cnn This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License. Inquiries regarding rights should be directed to the authors.(image)



Dr. Gordon on HLN Tonight!

2011-12-07T11:58:29.862-08:00

The news that Giuliana Rancic is planning bilateral mastectomies has brought the issue of preventive mastectomies back to the forefront of the news.  This evening on HLN Dr. Ora Gordon and BRCA-positive friend Wendy K. will be on with Dr. Drew at 9 p.m. and midnight EST and 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. PST discussing this! I don't know how much of the BRCA perspective will survive the editing room floor (image)



Yes Dorothy, Ovarian Cancer can start in the fallopian tubes

2011-10-16T13:14:18.712-07:00

As we discussed in Positive Results, researchers are finding an increasing number of BRCA-related ovarian cancers starting the lining of the fallopian tubes at the time of preventive surgery in BRCA-positive women.  Here is the story of one such woman, who shares the intimate details of her surgery, pathology and diagnosis to help inform others about this risk: Click here to see all of her (image)



Secretary Sebelius statement for 2011 National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

2011-10-02T07:33:00.226-07:00

The following statement was released on September 30th by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius: "For more than 25 years, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month has been a time to reaffirm our commitment to fighting breast cancer and to remind ourselves of the importance of prevention and early detection. Breast cancer remains one of the most frequently diagnosed cancers among (image)