Oneinforty is a nonprofit organization that raises awareness of the one-in-forty risk to Ashkenazi Jews of inheriting BRCA gene mutations and provides the support individuals and families need to effectively manage their cancer risk.
In Memoriam, Lauren M. Corduck
January 31, 1971 - December 24, 2020
In late 2016 at the age of forty-five, Lauren sought genetic counseling and screening on a friend's urging. The screening--a simple blood test--showed that she had inherited a mutation in her BRCA1 gene from her father, putting her at much higher risk than the general population of developing breast and ovarian cancer.
Lauren's genetic counselor advised her to have her Fallopian tubes and ovaries removed, surgery that would have dramatically reduced her risk of developing ovarian cancer. But it was too late. Around the same time, Lauren had an MRI of her back to determine the cause of severe back pain she had been experiencing. The MRI revealed an incidental finding of what turned out to be stage four ovarian cancer that had metastasized to lymph nodes as high as one near her left collarbone.
Given her family history of breast cancer and Ashkenazi Jewish heritage, Lauren should have been referred to a genetic counselor and screened for the BRCA gene mutations many years ago. While undergoing cancer treatment, she discovered that most American Jews of eastern and central European descent are not aware that they have a one in forty chance of having a mutation in their BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene that puts them at much higher risk than the general population of developing ovarian cancer, breast cancer (male or female) and prostate cancer.