Celebrating National Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Week

Image to the left taken from the FacingOurRisk.org website.

In the United States, at least one million people carry genes, such as the BRCA or breast cancer gene, that put them at risk for cancer. In 2010, a Congressional resolution created National Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer (HBOC) Week.

From September 25–October 2, 2011, HBOC Week raises awareness of hereditary cancer and recognizes those affected, including those with a family history of cancer, ovarian and breast cancer survivors, and previvors, those with a high risk of cancer who have not yet developed it.

Previvor Day is Wednesday, September 28, 2011, and a free teleconference with inspirational speaker and previvor Merit Gest will be held at noon EST. This event will focus on empowering previvors to understand the complex choices they face and make decisions about their health. To register, visit http://meritgest.com/national-previvor-day-september-28-2011.html.

HBOC Week falls in the week transitioning from Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month to Breast Cancer Awareness Month. During HBOC Week, Passing the Torch Ceremonies across the country pass a ceremonial flame from an ovarian cancer survivor to a breast cancer survivor to commemorate the transition.

The group FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered) is a community dedicated to fighting hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, and it has chapters throughout the U.S. Events during HBOC Week are scheduled by local FORCE groups and can be found at http://www.facingourrisk.org/events/HBOCWeekEvents.php. This year, chapters will be sponsoring walk / runs, film screenings, conferences, discussions, and charity events.

FORCE’s website offers the latest information and research on HBOC, and features webinars, books, and movies, as well as support to hereditary cancer victims and their families. FORCE holds an annual conference and HBOC forum during the summer, and focuses on cancer advocacy, education, and peer support. Visitors to the site will find inspiring artwork and blogs, a tribute wall, and the latest news about HBOC.

For more information, or to find out how you can help, visit http://www.facingourrisk.org.