San Diego– Can two genes control your destiny? Recently there’s been an explosion of genetic testing with 75,000 genetic tests on the market and ten new tests entering the market daily. The business of clinical genomics is forecast to grow to a $7.7 billion global industry by 2020. But the testing of two genes–BRCA1 and BRCA2, which when mutated are known to greatly increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancer, as well as other cancers such as prostate, melanoma and pancreatic–were identified 25 years ago. Like eye or hair color, there’s 50% chance of inheriting a mutation from either parent.

New science and technology are continually changing the landscape for mutation carriers and now the Lawrence Family JCC, JACOBS FAMILY CAMPUS in La Jolla is teaming up with the Basser Center for BRCA at the University of Pennsylvania on July 17th for a panel discussion, Knowledge is Power: Understanding and Managing BRCA-Related Cancer Risk. Says Robyn Cohen, the JCC’s Sports and Fitness Director, “The JCC is more than a fitness center.  We are truly committed to the health and wellness of our community and are proud to partner with Basser to bring this exciting program and cutting-edge information to Southern California.”  Panelists Susan Domchek MD, Executive Director of Penn Medicine’s Basser Center for BRCA, Paul Hyde, MD, Scripps Hospital breast surgeon, David Smotrich, MD, Medical Director of La Jolla IVF, Lisa Madlensky, PhD, Director of the Family Cancer Genetics Program at Moores UCSD Cancer Center, and a local BRCA mutation carrier will meet to engage in a meaningful and important discussion, bringing education and awareness to the San Diego community. 

For most people, until it happens, it is hard to understand the magnitude of the effect that positive results of genetic testing will have on their psyche or life overall. Joining the panel is Sarah Abelsohn, a 27-year-old BRCA mutation carrier who has undergone both prophylactic mastectomy as well as PGD. Sarah, who was born and raised in San Diego adds, “I’m delighted to be part of this important conversation. The choices faced by BRCA mutation carriers are really tough and being able to come together as a community to support each other to learn about the latest science is a great opportunity.”

Researchers and clinicians in genetics understand that BRCA carriers are in a perplexing predicament. Learn from leaders in the field of hereditary cancer research about how you can use knowledge as power to manage and lower your risk. Attendees will learn about BRCA-related cancers, genetic counseling and testing, and what can be done to mitigate risk for families. The panel will also discuss how BRCA-positive individuals can manage their risk of developing cancer and how to navigate through the challenging medical decision-making for mutation carriers including surveillance and surgical options and the choice for women of child bearing age to undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF) and preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), a technique that’s becoming more and more common to allow for the transfer of only those embryos free of a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation, insuring the mutation isn’t passed on to their children.

The panel will be followed by a reception and resource fair including many community organizations including Susan G. Komen, FORCE, and Sharsheret among others working in the area of hereditary cancers and cancer prevention.

The Basser Center for BRCA is the first comprehensive center for the research, treatment, and prevention of BRCA-related cancers. Devoted to advancing care for people affected by BRCA gene mutations, the Basser Center’s unique model provides funding for collaborative research, education and outreach programs around the world. To assist researchers and clinicians working at the forefront of cancer research, Basser provides grant funding to both research conducted at the University of Pennsylvania and externally to investigators at other institutions.

In addition to educational outreach events for patients and families like this event, the center sponsors a highly-regarded and dynamic annual scientific symposium each May, featuring BRCA experts from around the world, covering recent advances and future directions in BRCA research and clinical management of mutation carriers. 

Event Details:

KNOW YOUR RISK: Knowledge is Power: Understanding and Managing BRCA-Related Cancer Risk

Tuesday July 17, 2018

Panel: 7:00-8:30 PM · Meet & Greet panelists and attend a Resource Fair: 8:30-9:00 PM

Free and open to the public with registration. · Light refreshments to be served

Register: or by calling 858-362-1348

Sponsored by the Basser Center for BRCA and the Lawrence Family JCC, JACOBS FAMILY CAMPUS


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