In this podcast episode, our CEO and President, Ellen T. Matloff, interviews Colleen, a 43-year-old ovarian cancer survivor. Colleen shares her family’s story and how she suspected she was at increased risk to develop ovarian cancer.
Colleen’s sister was diagnosed and died from ovarian cancer at the young age of 33. At the time of her diagnosis, the sisters were not aware of any family history of ovarian cancer. Experiencing the loss of her sister to ovarian cancer made Colleen more aware of the disease. Due to Colleen’s monitoring of early symptoms, she was diagnosed with an early stage ovarian cancer. At the age of 36, she had a total hysterectomy followed by chemotherapy.
At this point, she questioned if the cancers in her family were hereditary. She had BRCA1/2 testing which was negative and her oncologist suggested that ‘lightning struck twice’, with both sisters developing ovarian cancer. However, more family members developed and died from cancers, included ovarian cancer. Colleen shares what further genetic testing was performed, the importance of genetic counseling, and how the family discovered a mutation that causes Lynch syndrome (HNPCC).
Listen to or download the full podcast episode here.