SALT LAKE CITY, Oct. 3, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Myriad Genetics, Inc. (Nasdaq:MYGN) today announced that, in support of National Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer (HBOC) Week and National Previvor Day, it has launched an online quiz to help people assess their risk for hereditary cancers. The Hereditary Cancer Quiz is available online at www.hereditarycancerquiz.com. In addition, the company is providing financial support toward educational and awareness initiatives to three advocacy organizations-Bright Pink, the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (NOCC) and Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC). HBOC Week marks the transition between National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and was established by U.S. Congressional resolution in 2010 to raise awareness about hereditary cancer. National Previvor Day raises awareness for those individuals who have a known gene mutation or a strong family history of cancer but have not yet developed cancer. "Understanding their risk for hereditary cancers, such as breast and ovarian cancer, is critical to helping patients make informed decisions about treatment and prevention. Our hereditary cancer risk quiz empowers patients to understand their family history and provides a framework for an informative discussion with a healthcare professional," said Mark Capone, President, Myriad Genetic Laboratories. "In addition, organizations such as Bright Pink, NOCC and Living Beyond Breast Cancer offer hereditary cancer patients and their families vital support and information in their fight against these diseases, and we are proud to support their efforts." "Funding from Myriad and our other partner companies assists our organization in offering better and more valuable resources to hereditary cancer patients and their families," said David Barley, Chief Executive Officer, National Ovarian Cancer Coalition. "We are proud to work with Myriad, as they play a major role in the understanding and diagnosis of a person's hereditary risk for cancer."
About Hereditary CancerHereditary cancers, also called inherited cancers, are those caused by genetic mutations that are passed from parent to child. These mutations predispose people to developing a particular type of cancer. Mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are the most common cause of hereditary breast and ovarian cancers and can lead to male breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer and others. Women with a BRCA mutation are five times more likely to develop breast cancer than those without the mutation and more than ten times as likely to develop ovarian cancer 1. Approximately 7% 2 of breast cancer and approximately 14% 3,4,5 of invasive ovarian cancer result from inherited gene mutations. DNA testing for BRCA mutations is done through a blood or saliva test and can indicate whether a person carries a BRCA gene mutation. Testing is recommended for people with certain personal and/or family history pattern, including:
- A personal history of breast cancer at an early age6
- A personal history of ovarian cancer at any age
- A strong family history of breast cancer at an early age
- A family history of breast and ovarian cancers
- A family history of male breast cancer
- Ashkenazi Jewish heritage (who also have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer)
- Claus EB, Schildkraut JM, Thompson WD, Risch NJ. The genetic attributable risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Cancer. 1996;77:2318-24.
- Risch HA, McLaughlin JR, Cole DEC, et al. Prevalence and penetrance of germline BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations in a population series of 649 women with ovarian cancer. American Journal of Human Genetics. 2001;68:700-710.
- Pal T, Permuth-Wey J, Betts JA, et al. BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations account for a large proportion of ovarian carcinoma cases. Cancer. 2005;104(12):2807-2816.
- Zhang S. et al. Frequencies of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations among 1,342 unselected patients with invasive ovarian cancer. Gynecol Oncol. 2011 May 1; 121(2):352-7.
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