September 25-October 1, 2016: Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Awareness Week

WHEREAS, Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer (HBOC), which is primarily due to changes in the BRCA (breast cancer gene) and other genes, results in a higher risk of breast cancer at a young age, bilateral breast cancer, ovarian cancer, breast cancer in men, prostate cancer, melanoma, and pancreatic cancer; and,

WHEREAS, an estimated 25,000 people in Michigan carry a change in the BRCA gene and most of these individuals are unaware of their increased risk for hereditary cancer; and,

WHEREAS, changes in cancer genes may be inherited from the mother and/or father and affect both men and women, who may likewise pass the condition on to their children; and,

WHEREAS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and national guidelines recommend screening for women with a family history of breast, ovarian, tubal or peritoneal cancer to identify whether they may have HBOC. Women with positive screening results are recommended to seek genetic counseling; and,

WHEREAS, genetic counseling is recommended before hereditary cancer genetic testing, with appropriate informed consent, as required by Michigan law; and,

WHEREAS, cascade screening identifies at-risk relatives of affected individuals, and is an important step toward preventing cancer in those at-risk family members; and,

WHEREAS, on this week, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Michigan Cancer Genetics Alliance and Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered join together to raise awareness of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer in Michigan. We encourage all residents to learn more about HBOC and cancer genes such as BRCA, to discuss their family health history with their health care provider and to take appropriate steps toward cancer risk assessment, detection and prevention;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim September 25- October 1, 2016 as Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Week in Michigan.