2015 Ovarian Cancer National Alliance Conference (OCNA)
Strength. Wisdom. Power. Hope. All words to describe patients with ovarian cancer and ovarian cancer survivors.
This year the 2015 OCNA Conference exuded hope; hope in the areas of research, therapeutic drugs, clinical trials, and genetics. More importantly, the conference was a time for patients with ovarian cancer to unite in solidarity. A time to share personal stories, provide compassion, and fellowship with friends.
Myriad attended and exhibited at this year’s conference and found the energy from the attendees at this year’s conference infectious.
Traffic at the Myriad booth was terrific! The number of women and caregivers interested in knowing more about the importance of genetic testing for BRCA mutations in patients with ovarian cancer was encouraging. Myriad’s BRACAnalysis CDxTM test, the first and only FDA-approved companion diagnostic to effectively identify those patients with ovarian cancer who may benefit from Lynparza (olaparib), was a topic for many of the women who stopped by. At Myriad, one of our many goals is to educate these patients about the importance of knowing their BRCA status and how it could influence their medical management, particularly now as new treatment options for those with recurrent ovarian cancer have come to market.
Kara, one of the many Genetic Counselors at Myriad who had the pleasure of working the booth at this year’s conference said,
It was an honor and a privilege to attend the OCNA conference in San Diego last weekend. I had the opportunity to meet many wonderful women who are survivors of this devastating disease. Within the span of a couple hours, at least 4 women came up to me at the Myriad booth to let me know, “I’m an ovarian cancer survivor. No one else in my family has had cancer, but I’m BRCA positive. I want to thank your company for giving me this information – it has helped not only me but my family members”. I kept hearing, over and over, “knowledge is power!”Several of the sessions at the OCNA Conference were focused on genetic testing and companion diagnostics for patients with ovarian cancer. Genetic Counselors Sandra Brown from St. Joseph’s Hospital and Diana De Rosa from San Diego Moores Cancer Center spoke about genetic counseling and the role it plays in ovarian cancer healthcare. During the ‘Ask the Expert’ session on Sunday, Dr. Anil Sood from MD Anderson reinforced the importance of BRACAnalysis CDxTM testing for all patients with ovarian cancer.
As informative and educational as the conference was, there was plenty of fun and celebration for all in attendance! Between the music, dancing, photo booth fun, and “Best Dressed Teal” award the “Honoring Your Survival” reception was full of smiles and celebration. It was uplifting, empowering and fun!
Talk about ending on a high-note; upon leaving the festivities everyone received their own personal message of encouragement from an ovarian cancer survivor,
Do what makes you happy each day. Don’t dwell on this disease but never forget it’s there either. Just live each day as best you can.
Every year 21,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer and 21,000 families are affected by this terrible disease. That is why we are so invested in supporting OCNA and their tireless work to continue providing support for these patients with ovarian cancer and their families.
This large event is just one of many that occur throughout the year. In addition, OCNA is committed to providing resources and encouragement to those women undergoing treatment so they can continue to fight the fight…like a true warrior.
Visit www.ovariancancer.org for more information about their programs.
Calaneet Balas, OCNA CEO welcoming attendees on Sunday morning.
Myriad in the photo booth:
Ovarian cancer survivors Julie and Jill in the photo booth:
Myriad’s BRACAnalysis CDx™ featured in the program: