CHI Memorial’s Rees Skillern Cancer Institute is now offering a new support group for women at risk for hereditary breast and ovarian cancers. More than 2 million women in the United States may be at increased risk for these cancers because of their family history, according to Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered (FORCE).
The FORCE support group will meet once every quarter from 4:30-6 p.m. in the Rees Skillern Cancer Institute’s Cancer Risk and Survivorship Center. Catherine Marcum, APN, AGACNP-BC, advanced practice nurse with training in clinical cancer genetics through the City of Hope, will facilitate the group. The first meeting will be Tuesday, March 22.
“Learning you have an increased risk of developing hereditary breast or ovarian cancer is scary,” said Ms.
Marcum. “We want women who have tested positive and those who have had surgery to know they are not alone on this journey and provide them access to the resources they need to make the best decisions about their care.”
Hereditary cancers mean someone is born with changes or mutations in certain genes which normally protect against cancer. These changes are usually inherited from a parent and can increase the risk for cancers in different parts of the body. The main hereditary breast cancer gene changes—caused by mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes—are also associated with an increased risk for ovarian, fallopian tube, and other cancers.
The Rees Skillern Cancer Institute’s Cancer Risk and Survivorship Center offers cancer risk counseling to help people understand better how their family history of cancer might affect their individual risk of developing cancer. Specially trained staff will assist you in finding accurate information about your cancer risk and answer your questions. They will explain how that information relates to you individually and address testing for cancer genes, when appropriate.
If you would like more information on cancer risk counseling or the FORCE support group, or to schedule an appointment, call (423) 495-2258.