from the June 1, 2010 issue of Connect
Conference for Women Living with the Risk of Inherited Cancer
On May 5, the Familial Breast Cancer Research Unit at the Women’s College Research Institute held a one-day conference for women living with an inherited risk of breast and ovarian cancer. The full-day event provided an accessible summary of the latest research affecting these women’s lives and well-being. It attracted more than 90 women who had previously received genetic testing for mutations associated with cancer risk at Women’s College Hospital.
“Women have access to ongoing counselling services,” says Sonia Nanda, a genetic counsellor with the program. “But an event like this stimulates questions and lets them think about what they might want to know. It gives them context for their own lives.”
Senior scientist Dr. Steven Narod, scientist Dr. Joanne Kotsopoulos and adjunct scientist Dr. Kelly Metcalfe all spoke at the conference, as did Nanda. They were joined by clinical colleagues from both oncology and surgery departments at partner hospitals. The sessions discussed quality of life issues after preventive surgery, the use of diet and lifestyle changes to reduce cancer risk and the role of hormonal therapies like tamoxifen and raloxifene.
Dr. Steven Narod says he hopes this event will be the first of many, noting that participant evaluations were extremely positive about the quality of the event. One participant called it a “gift of information.”
Dr. Narod also acknowledges how grateful his group is for the ongoing support of the many women who chose to participate in their studies. The scientists and researchers see events like this as a way of giving back.
“We hope to host more events of this caliber in the future to support women in making informed decisions about their health.”
For more information on Women’s College Research Institute, please click here.
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