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Fox Chase Cancer Center Publishes First Ovarian Cancer Risk-Reducing Surgery Resource

PHILADELPHIA (September 12, 2006) — The Margaret Dyson Family Risk Assessment Program at Fox Chase Cancer Center, with support from the Sandy Rollman Ovarian Cancer Foundation, has published the first resource book in the United States designed to present all the information women need as they consider risk-reducing surgery for ovarian cancer. The book, titled Ovarian Cancer Risk - Reducing Surgery: A Decision-Making Resource, is a comprehensive educational resource for women considering removal of their ovaries for cancer prevention (known as prophylactic oophorectomy).

Women who consider having their ovaries removed are typically at high-risk because of family history. Some of these women have an inherited predisposition to cancer, identified through genetic testing.

Although ovarian cancer is curable in its earliest stages, with surgery alone or surgery plus a combination of drugs developed at Fox Chase, most ovarian cancers are diagnosed later because they produce few symptoms.

Early detection of ovarian cancer is challenging due to inadequate screening tests. Tests currently available, such as pelvic exams, intravaginal ultrasound and a blood test for a protein called CA-125-do not reliably find signs of ovarian cancer and may either miss a cancer or falsely indicate one, leading to many unnecessary biopsies. Consequently, many high-risk women consider having healthy ovaries removed to reduce the risk of cancer developing in the first place.

"This resource covers topics that help women understand their risk of ovarian cancer and what they need to know if they are going to have risk-reducing surgery," said Mary Daly, MD, PhD, FACP, director of the Margaret Dyson Family Risk Assessment Program and senior vice president for population science at Fox Chase. "Each section offers women a list of questions to discuss with a health-care team."

The book is available free of charge by sending an e-mail to

The Margaret Dyson Family Risk Assessment Program is a prevention and early detection program specifically for women with a family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer. To enroll, women should be at least 18 years old, and have at least one first-degree relative-mother, sister or daughter-who has had either breast or ovarian cancer. Participants have individual education sessions and receive individual counseling from a genetic counselor.

Founded in 2000 by Robin Cohen and Adriana Way, Sandy Rollman Ovarian Cancer Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit, 501c3 organization created as a tribute to the life, character, and immense strength of Sandy Rollman who passed away from advanced ovarian cancer in May 2000. Sandy's sister, Adriana and her nurse Robin decided to keep Sandy's memory alive while trying to promote awareness and raise funds for Ovarian Cancer research, prevention and support. The foundation is in Sandy's memory and the memory of all women who have succumbed to this insidious disease.

Fox Chase Cancer Center, part of the Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatment centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence four consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach.  For more information, call 1-888-FOX CHASE or (1-888-369-2427).

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