Have you lost a mother, daughter or sister to ovarian cancer?

You may qualify for funded, and potentially life-saving, genetic testing. In honour of World Ovarian Cancer Day on May 8th, the Prevent Ovarian Cancer Program (POCP) is calling for eligible participants to undergo potentially life-saving genetic testing. Through this testing, they hope to identify women with a BRCA1/2 mutation.

The goal of POCP is to help identify women with a BRCA1/2 mutation and provide them with genetic counselling to make informed decisions about reducing their risk for ovarian cancer. Since first launching the initiative in 2015, over 340 women have registered to see if they qualify. Once you register, dedicated POCP personnel will guide all eligible participants through the genetic testing process.

“Research shows there is a strong link between BRCA1 and BRCA2 genetic mutations and ovarian cancer. Carriers have up to a 40% chance of developing ovarian cancer compared to only 2% for the general population,” said Dr. Marcus Bernardini, Gynecologic Oncologist, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. “Our program aims to identify women who have a potentially higher risk and offer them options to decrease their lifetime risk for developing ovarian cancer.”

Ovarian cancer is Canada’s most fatal women’s cancer. A large number of women die from ovarian cancer because most women do not experience symptoms until the cancer has grown and spread to other organs. In 2013 there were 2,600 new cases diagnosed and 1,750 deaths from ovarian cancer in Canadian women. Of these, 1,150 new cases and 670 deaths occurred in Ontario alone. An estimated 17,000 women are living with ovarian cancer in Canada right now.

For more information or to register, visit Preventovariancancer.ca.