Imagine the Impact – NOCC Conference 2012


The National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (NOCC)’s 2012 Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada was held November 8th through 10th. Survivors, caregivers, healthcare professionals, and family members gathered to embrace the great strides and impact being made by the NOCC in their mission to raise awareness about the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer.

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Myriad provided a sponsorship for the conference and had a wonderful presence during the three day event.

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On Friday morning Dr. Kristin Zorn and patient advocate Robin Woodard captivated the audience with a presentation about hereditary cancer syndromes and genetic testing. Robin shared the story of her mother’s journey with ovarian cancer and how it changed both of their lives. Robin and her mother are BRCA1 mutation carriers and are empowered by the knowledge they now have to take charge of their future. Robin’s mother is an 8 year ovarian cancer survivor and Robin is a previvor which means she has taken measures based on her genetic mutation to try and avoid ever getting cancer. You can see her story here

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Robin’s husband and daughter surprised her at the event. Although he knows her story well, her husband had never heard her tell her story and he watched with pride as she shared her hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome journey.

NOCC - Robin Husband Daughter

Dr. Kristin Zorn is a surgical oncologist specializing in gynecological and ovarian cancers at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. She gave an outstanding presentation about understanding genetic risk based on family history and the importance of patients discussing their risk with their healthcare professional. Ovarian cancer is a “red flag” for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome and according to the NCCN, women who have had a diagnosis of ovarian cancer should consider genetic testing.

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And then there was lunch… Special thanks was given to Myriad and we celebrated at the top of The “M” Hotel with a delicious Mexican lunch. David Barley, CEO of NOCC, gave a short presentation reminding us all that the holidays are upon us and it is a perfect time to discuss family history of cancer as our families gather around the fireplace or dining table.

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After attending this conference I am left with the following words to describe the experience, the people, and the movement to raise awareness about ovarian cancer:

Inspirational, courageous, motivational, empowering, educational, urgency, emotional, and ACTION!

This silent killer is in need of attention. Know your body, pay attention to signs and symptoms, dig into your family history, require excellence from your healthcare professional and empower yourself with knowledge. For more information about NOCC and ovarian cancer go to www.ovarian.org