Friday, August 24, 2012

Research News : OC screening and Secondary Cytoreductive Surgery

Two interesting articles appeared recently in the Oncologist and Cancer Prevention Research .

Impact of Screening Test Performance and Cost on Mortality Reduction and Cost-effectiveness of Multimodal Ovarian Cancer Screening

This study looking at mortality reduction, years of life saved and cost -effectiveness for women who underwent an annual CA-125 and on a rising result underwent a subsequent transvaginal ultrasound . Results showed a  moderate decrease in mortality (13%). The tests were found to meet cost effective guidelines.

The Role of Secondary Cytoreductive Surgery in Patients with Recurrent Epithelial Ovarian, Tubal, and Peritoneal Cancers: A Comparative Effectiveness Analysis

This comparative study showed reported the cytoreductive surgery used to treat  recurrent Ovarian cancer may increase overall survival.

Every Day is a Blessing!

September Awareness events

I have been gathering many ovarian cancer awareness events in NJ and neighboring Philly and NYC during September. From walks to Galas to seminars and book signings I am sure there is something for everyone. So click here  or the Local Events tab a the top of this page.

Every Day is a Blessing!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Four Years as a CHN Volunteer

I've been away the past few days moving my son and his dog into his new apartment . He began graduate school for a PhD in History yesterday. I am so proud of him yet sad he is 900 miles from home. So I was a bit sad this morning missing him as I tidied up his room and bathroom until a card came in the mail.

Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves. 
                                -Sir James M Barrie

That was the saying on the front of a card I received from the Cancer Hope Network. Inside the card were these anniversary wishes.
You do indeed bring sunshine into our lives and those with whom you speak.
You are truly inspirational !

Reading that made me smile. It turns out I have been a volunteer talking to women throughout the country for four years now. It hasn't seemed that long. I have enjoyed talking to others diagnosed with ovarian cancer or about participating in a clinical trial. I hope these survivors learn about the disease and feel hopefully after speaking to me.

If you are newly diagnosed with any cancer or a caregiver for someone diagnosed with cancer you may call( 1-800-552-4366 )  or visit the Cancer Hope Network website online  to be matched with a survivor. I'm glad that 7 years ago I reached out to this wonderful organization.

Every Day is a Blessing!

Friday, August 10, 2012

My Interview on

A few weeks ago Monica Clark, owner and editor of the website, contacted me about sharing my clinical trial experience on the website's blog. (JCT) is a resource for finding clinical trials and for finding volunteers who would like to participate in clinical trials. The search engine used on the site searches the National Library of Medicine, US Department of Health and Human Services, the National Institute of Health and privately submitted trials for matches to specific medical conditions. The goal of JCT is to "help clinical trial volunteers better understand and evaluate clinical trials that they are considering joining and to provide investigators, CRO’s and sponsors a better way to meet and communicate with these volunteers."

On August 7th my interview was posted on the site and the ovarian cancer section went live. Currently if you type "ovarian cancer" in the search box on the site you will see a listing of 200 clinical trials. And if you want to read about my experience  participating in a clinical trial please visit

Thank you Monica for allowing me to share my experience.


Every Day is a Blessing!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Right Around the Corner- Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

September, National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month,  is right around the corner. It looks like it will be a busy month in our area.

If you are ready to walk to raise awareness, funds for research or to support women with ovarian cancer you have lots of choices in NJ. Try the Teal Wings of Hope Walk in Hamilton on September 1st, the Kaleidoscope of Hope walks on September  9th,16th or 29th , or the NOCC Northern NJ Walk to Break the Silence on the September 23rd.

Want to dress up and party? Try the Sandy Rollman Foundation's Teal Passport Gala and Auction on Sept 15th in Philadephia.

How about a seminar , fashion show and exhibit in support of the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund ? Register for the Color of Teal Expo on Sept 29th in New York City.

Here is what is in store for me. After hanging my Teal Ribbon Garden flag,  I'll be wearing Teal on Wear Teal Day ( Sept 7) to raise awareness of Ovarian Cancer.  At the end of the month I will be volunteering at the Kaleidoscope of Hope (KOH)  Walk in Avon, NJ ( Sept 29th).  I'd also love to break the $5000 mark on my personal fundraising page in support for the ovarian cancer researchers at the Cancer Institute of NJ.

So what will you be doing?

If you are part of an organization that will be having an event in September please let me know the details and I will be happy to spread the word. Thanks.

Every Day is a Blessing!

Monday, August 6, 2012

In The News: Social Influences, Germline mutations and OCNA Conference materials

There were a few interesting research reports release the past week or so.

Social Influences on Clinical Outcomes of Patients with Ovarian Cancer
This research appeared in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.  The lead researchers were from the University of Iowa but included doctors from different institutions throughout the country. In this prospective study ( women were recruited for the study and followed ) they  looked at the relationship between support and long term survival among women with epithelial ovarian cancer. One hundred sixty eight patients were recruited for the study.  The statistical model used to analyze the data took into account stage, grade, histology and age .

Conclusion: Greater social support was associated with a lower likelihood of death. Fifty-nine percent of  women with a high level of social support were found to survive 4.70 years while those with minimal support survived a median of 3.35 years.

My Take: I find this study intriguing.  I would like to see this study done with a larger population

Germline BRA1 and BRCA2 Mutations in Ovarian Cancer:Utiltiy of a Histology-Based Referral strategy 

This Canadian Study ran from 2004 to 2009 and will be published in an upcoming issue of  Obstetrics and Gynecology.  The study recruited women with nonmucinous epithelial ovarian cancer , fallopian or primary peritoneal cancers and asked them to bank their tumors and receive genetic counseling. Family history was taken for each patient. One hundred thirty-one women participated. BRCA 1 and 2 mutations were found in twenty percent of the women and exclusively in women with high grade serous histology.

Conclusion: Germline mutations are associated with high-grade serous histology.  This suggests that all women with high grade serous ovarian cancer have genetic testing. This will improve detection rates and mutation carriers will be found that would not be found if only family history of breast and ovarian cancer is used.

My Take: Since the treatment of ovarian cancer for those with BRCA mutations can vary from those without the mutations this study strengthens the call for genetic testing of all women with high grade serous ovarian cancer.

OCNA Conference
The OCNA conference took place in early July in Washington ,DC.
Here is a link to the conference materials which include a number of interesting presentations related to research and treatment.

Every Day is a Blessing!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A Fictional Character and Ovarian Cancer

I just finished reading Jodi Picoult's Book Lone Wolf (2012) . It was excellent, by the way .

There are a number of lines in the book that are wonderful but what stood out was a statement by Luke Warren, the naturalist and wolf researcher, about his mother.

" She came to my grandfather's funeral and my college graduation and two years after that died from ovarian cancer."

Well that was a bit of a bummer. I think I would have liked to read a bit more about his mother but that was not to be. Then I thought how interesting it was that this author decided to have the mother die of ovarian cancer not a heart attack or breast cancer or some other disease. This is not the first time she mentioned ovarian cancer in one of her books. She also mentioned it in Nineteen Minutes.

I guess we ( advocates) have done a good job of raising awareness if fictional writers like Jodi Picoult include characters  diagnosed with the disease. Now we need a more developed character who receives the diagnosis , undergoes treatment and has the anxiety, support and hopes of these women of teal.

Every Day is a Blessing!