Thursday, February 27, 2014

Research News : Aspirin and Oophorectomies


Feb 6,2014 Journal of the National Cancer Institute

Chronic inflammation has been shown to increase the risk for cancer.Aspirin is known to possess  anti-inflammatory properties. Using data from 12 large epidemiological studies (8000 women with ovarian cancer and 12,000 without the disease) researchers at the NIH studied whether aspirin, non-aspirin NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) or acetaminophen had a lower risk of ovarian cancer.

Conclusion:  Daily use of low-dose aspirin was found to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer by 20-34% depending on the dose and frequency. The same low dose aspirin regime has show Cardiovascular  benefits.

My Take: Further prospective randomized studies are needed to verify this research.
There are risks to taking aspirin such as gastrointestinal bleeding but this may be a readily available low cost was to reduce a women's risk for ovarian cancer. .

Feb 24 Journal of Clinical Oncology

This study included over 5000 women with BRCA1 & 2  mutations who had their ovaries removed. The goal of the research was to estimate the reduction in the risk of developing ovarian, fallopian and peritoneal cancers by the age the women had their ovaries removed.The study also looked at the impact the surgery had on the women's mortality. 

Conclusion: Preventative oophorectomy in women with BRCA1 mutations reduces the risk of ovarian cancer by 80%. The study also found a 77% reduction in deaths by any cause by the age of 70 when women had the surgery. 

Recommendation: Women with BRCA1 mutation should  have their ovaries removed by age 35.  Waiting to a later age for the surgery increases the risk of being diagnosed with ovarian cancer. 

My Take: This study verified the importance of ovary removal at age 35 for women who carry the  BRCA1. Having to deal with menopause at an early age is not easy but women who are BRCA1 should discuss this surgery with their doctors . 

Notes:  Risk is the chance a person has of developing cancer over their lifetime. The risk of a woman developing ovarian cancer is 1.37 or 1 in 73 women. Data from ACS.

Every Day is a Blessing!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Not for Six Months

Yesterday, I had an appointment with my gynecologic oncologist. It was originally scheduled for last Thursday but my cancer center was closed that day due to the snow storm .

My Gyn-Onc always starts her appointments with asking how I feel and how my family is doing. She asked to see photos of my grandkids, so out came my iPhone and of course I shared the good news that my son had gotten engaged. She was so happy to hear the news and to see the photos. Then the conversation turned to the blog post I had written for the SGO blog. We both agreed that I would not be the advocate I am today if she hadn't recommending that I apply to attend the LiveSTRONG Survivors Summit back in 2006. Yes,  she is ultimately to blame for all this blogging.

Then we got down to business. First we talked about how my CA-125 had dropped back down to 13 from 21 back in October. I had been a bit worried that the results might continue going up instead of down, a sign I could be recurring. Next, we discussed the results of the genetic testing I had done for one of the Center's clinical trials. The results included recommendations for future treatment if  I should recur. Having a plan for if and when I should recur sure makes me feel good. Then it was exam time.  I won't go into the details here but many of my readers know exactly what that is like. Everything looked good. What a relief!

Next she turned to me and said "When do you want to see me again? Six months?". I said, "Well I'll miss seeing you but sure I can do six months". And six months it is.  Life is good.

Every Day is a Blessing! Blessed to have such a caring gynecologic oncologist on this journey with me.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Love of Grandchildren

My grandchildren live on the west coast so in person visits don't happen very often.  Image how surprised I was when the less than typical Valentine's Day card arrived in the mail. I teared up quickly as I slowly unfolded this life-sized card.

I never thought I would be around to experience the joys of being a grandmother. It sure is a sweet experience.

Peace and Love to all my Teal Sisters.

Every Day is a Blessing!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Being an e-patient

Over the past few years I have used the Internet to share my story and information on ovarian cancer symptoms and research. I write this blog, tweet , share info on facebook and now co-moderate the #gyncsm tweet chat on Twitter. In addition to sharing information on the Internet I also learn from it. I take part in webinars on ovarian cancer treatments and watch U-tube videos provided by different ovarian cancer organizations.

When I started to follow Stanford Medicine X on Twitter and Facebook I learned that there is a name for what I am . I am an e-patient.  

ePatient (e!pa!tient/e‘p"SH#nt/): 1. A health consumer who uses the Internet to gather information about a medical condition of particular interest to them, and who use electronic communication tools (including Web 2.0 tools) in coping with medical conditions. 2. Friends and family members (e-Caregivers) who go online on behalf of patients. (MedX definition) 

In January, I applied to be an e-patient at the Stanford MedicineX conference in September. I became a finalist and had an interview, Google Hangout style. I'm glad I was used to doing Google Hangouts with my daughter and her family so my nervousness was just with having the interview. I was thrilled when I opened my e-mail on February 2nd to learn I was chosen to be a delegate and will take part in the Design Challenge working on a patient designed project with other healthcare stakeholders and the firm, IDEO.

On Monday February 3rd, Dr Larry Chu announced the winners on the MedX blog. When I read the list of delegate names I was happy to see women I know through the #bcsm chat and other patient groups. I can't wait to meet all of them in person.

I will have some work to do before the conference and I look forward to spending time and learning from other e-patients like myself.

Every Day is a Blessing!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Upcoming OC Fundraising Events - NJ, PA

The following are events presented by the Teal Tea Foundation 

Guys and Dolls Bingo - 

March 29, 2014  6pm  

The Elks Club 
835 West Bridge St
Morrisville , PA 19067

Tickets are $30 per person in advance $35 at the door. 
Tickets include 11 games , coffee tea dessert . The Elks will have a cash bar and hot grill snack food for sale. Coach, Michael Kors, Vera Bradley bags as well as items from men.

For more information :!prettyPhoto

Zumba Fundraiser 

April 13,2014 at 12:30pm
511 Ryders Lane
East Brunswick , NJ 08816 

Featuring Zumba with Liza Aninipot along with Tahirah from Going Wild Zumba!!
Join us for a 50th birthday celebration of Ilana Levitt, Zumba, raffle baskets and door prizes. Registration is $18 in advance and $20 at the door.
Ditch the workout and join the party, co-sponsored by the Teal Tea Foundation and the East Brunswick Jewish Center. This event is a celebration of all survivors and in loving memory of Leah Tolpin and all our mothers and sisters.

For more information:

The following events are presented by the Sandy Rollman Ovarian Cancer Foundation:

Time Out For Teal

February 23, 2014 2:00pm 

Anthony's Restaurant
4990 State Road 
Drexel Hill, PA

Tickets $35. 
More information here.

Sandy Sprint Superhero 5K/10K & Canine Sprint

Philadelphia Museum of Art 

April 26, 2014

The 10th Annual Sandy Sprint Run/Walk will take place on Saturday, April 26, 2014 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The Sandy Sprint is hosted by the Sandy Rollman Ovarian Cancer Foundation in an effort to spread the word about our mission and raise funds to advance research. In celebration of our 10th Anniversary, we are adding a 10K and moving to a new location! We are also encouraging you to dress as your favorite superhero. While costumes are not required, they will add to the fun! 

Register here.

The following event is presented by the Mary Anne Mazanec Ovarian Cancer Foundation & Frances Caporale Living Legacy Fund

Ovarian Cancer Foundation Fundraiser

Designer Bag Bingo-

Sunday, March 16, 2014 from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM (PDT)

Woodbury, NJ

Ticket price is $40 per ticket plus a minimal transaction fee. Ticket price includes: Wine cellar/Brunch Buffet, fresh squeezed juices, coffee & assorted teas, Mimosas, & 2 bingo cards.  
Cash bar will be available. Raffle tickets & additional bingo cards will be available for purchase at the event.
Any questions about tickets, please email Danielle Caporale (
More information here