Genetic Testing and Ovarian Cancer: It’s Personal

Did you know that up to 24% of women with ovarian cancer have inherited genetic mutations?

All women with ovarian cancer should be counseled and tested to determine if their cancer is hereditary.

In this informative webchat, Dr. Secord discusses what genetic testing can mean for you and your family and answers your questions on genetic testing. Following Dr. Secord’s discussion and Q&A session, Katya Lezin, patient advocate and ovarian cancer survivor, shares her experience and insight on the rapidly changing field of genetic testing, which is improving care for ovarian cancer patients and those predisposed to the disease.

About the speakers:

Dr. Secord is a Professor in the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at the Duke Cancer Institute. She received the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology Foundation – Burroughs Wellcome Scholarship and Berlex Foundation Scholar Award in Basic Science to evaluate the regulation of angiogenesis in ovarian cancer as well as other grants exploring the tumor microenvironment, novel therapeutics, and biomarkers to direct treatment. Dr. Secord has received awards from Duke University Medical Center, the Mid-Atlantic Gynecologic Oncology Society, and the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists for her research in ovarian carcinoma.

She is currently the Director of Gynecologic Oncology Clinical Trials and the Associate Director of Clinical Research, Gynecology Oncology, at the Duke Cancer Institute. She is a member of the NRG Oncology Group, GOG Partners Foundation, Society of Gynecology Oncology, and American Society of Clinical Oncology.​

Even though the extent of her Jewish lineage is a keen appreciation for a good bagel and lox, Katya Lezin is enough of an Ashkenazi Jew to inherit the BRCA-1 genetic mutation. Her indoctrination into the world of hereditary cancer came when Lezin was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in May 2011. Despite the fact that her cancer journey has included a recurrence (in November 2013), seven surgeries, months of chemotherapy, ten hospitalizations and the removal of multiple body parts, she thinks the Big C has brought more good than bad into her life.

She has chronicled her cancer journey in her weekly column for The Charlotte Observer and in a memoir she wrote entitled, But I Just Grew Out My Bangs, A Cancer Tale.

This educational program was made possible by funding from Myriad Genetics.

About Myriad Genetics

Myriad Genetics discovers and commercializes molecular diagnostic tests that: determine the risk of developing disease, accurately diagnose disease, assess the risk of disease progression, and guide treatment decisions across six major medical specialties. It is their mission to provide healthcare professionals and patients with affordable and accurate information they can rely upon when decisions matter most.

About the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition

For more than 25 years, the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition has been committed to raising awareness, promoting education, and funding research in support of women, families, and communities touched by ovarian cancer. The NOCC is well established as an important national advocate for patients and families struggling with ovarian cancer. The NOCC remains steadfast in its mission “to save lives by fighting tirelessly to prevent and cure ovarian cancer and to improve the quality of life for survivors.” For more information, please visit and follow the NOCC on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

**The Ask the Expert Guest Series is not intended to be a substitute for healthcare professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Speak to your healthcare provider about any questions you may have regarding your health.*