Since 2002, the HBOC Society has devoted its energy to passionately serving those directly and indirectly affected by hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (HBOC) syndrome, To date, we remain the only organization in Canada attempting to address all issues facing this extremely misunderstood, under-represented and under-funded population.
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Learning one has risky genes can be an extremely traumatic experience. People living in affected families have often lost parents, siblings or other close relatives and live in constant fear of being next. It's hard to take the step to confirm whether you have inherited risky genes and even harder to make the difficult choices required to protect yourself if genetic testing is positive. We are here to help with information, support and can connect you with others like you.
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WHO IS AFFECTED?
A minimum of 5-10% of all breast and prostate cancer and 10-15% of all ovarian cancer is hereditary. This translates to up to 1/2 million Canadians that have or will develop hereditary breast, ovarian or prostate cancer, which is about 3-5 times more people than have multiple sclerosis! Both men and women can carry risky gene mutations and are at a 50% risk of passing them to biological children. Awareness remains so low that an estimated 80% of carriers are not yet aware of their status, so can do nothing to save their lives..
WHAT IS HBOC SYNDROME?
Hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (HBOC) syndrome is caused by one or more of a number of inherited gene mutations that result in a high risk of breast, ovarian and prostate cancer, and slightly higher risk of some other types of cancer. This condition is often referred to as having the 'breast cancer gene and, more correctly, as being 'high risk', 'hereditary' or as having 'risky genes'. Hereditary cancer tends to be diagnosed often and at young ages in affected families.
Nothing can make your own journey seem less daunting than by helping others in the same situation. There are so many ways to get involved, ranging from simply leaving us your name as a supporter of the cause, to volunteering for events or joining a working committee. If we don't support our own cause, who will?
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