• By Valerie Smart
  • Posted October 24, 2017

An 18-Year Survivor of Breast Cancer Shares Her Story

My name is Valerie Smart. I’m a wife and mother with three beautiful children, two boys and a girl. And I am an 18 year breast cancer survivor. This is my story. I was diagnosed with a stage II ductal carcinoma (a type of breast cancer) in August of 2000. I had eight cycles of chemotherapy and 30 days of radiation followed by Tamoxifin. I lost …


  • By Nicole Schweppe
  • Posted October 18, 2017

My Breast Cancer Journey, Part 2- How I Prepared for Chemotherapy

Editor's Note: It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and we’ve teamed up with patient advocate Nicole Schweppe and local businesses to raffle off care bags stuffed full of essentials to bring comfort and entertainment to patients currently going through chemotherapy. Read to the end of this post to find out how to participate! I like …


  • By Nicole Schweppe
  • Posted October 12, 2017

My Breast Cancer Journey, Part 1- Your Thoughts are Your Reality

My breast cancer journey started on March 31st, 2017. I sat in the doctor’s office for my follow-up appointment after my lumpectomy.  Before the lumpectomy, I was told I had less than a 1% chance of the tumor being cancerous by three different doctors.  I sat there and told my doctor about my workout regime and that the incision was a little …


  • By Laurie Curtis
  • Posted September 28, 2017

How my Genetic Counselor Provided Guidance When I Needed it Most

I went in for genetic testing because cancer runs in my family: My maternal grandfather had prostate cancer; his sister had an unidentified cancer; my mother died from ovarian cancer; both her sisters have had breast cancer, one of which had bilateral breast cancer, 18 years apart; and 2 of my 3 female cousins have had breast cancer. One cousin …


  • By Jessica Profato
  • Posted September 25, 2017

Knowledge is Power: Learn More About Lynch Syndrome

Over the past few years, hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, and the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, have received a lot of media attention. From the perspective of a Genetic Counselor, I can say that these stories have helped raise awareness about hereditary cancer and the importance of understanding your family history. I hope that …


  • By Karen Malkin Lazarovitz
  • Posted September 21, 2017

How I Lost My Lady Parts But Gained So Much More

My story begins more than 9 years ago, when my father called me to say was having genetic testing. His cousin had just been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and had a known BRCA mutation. Many people I’ve spoken with have no idea that they can inherit this from their father, but I did. It is vitally important to meet with a genetic counselor before …


  • By Kim Price
  • Posted September 18, 2017

Signs and Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer- What you Need to Know

The National Ovarian Cancer Coalition® has been supporting the women, families, and caregivers affected by ovarian cancer for more than 25 years.  With 1 in 75 women being diagnosed with the disease, the NOCC is especially focused during the month of September on bringing earlier awareness of the signs and symptoms of the disease to women throughout …


  • By Cynthia Rigali Lund
  • Posted September 18, 2017

Life After Chemotherapy and Surgery for Ovarian Cancer

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and it’s a wonderful way to encourage women to create a deeper consciousness about their bodies. As I approach my five-year survivor date—the closest marker we have to saying “cured,”  I can say with deepest gratitude how much I appreciate my body and all that it does for me, as well as how much …


  • By Tiffany Au
  • Posted September 6, 2017

Why we Believe in the Power of Patient Voices

At Ambry Genetics, we appreciate our collective tribe of scientists, researchers, and academics who focus on uncovering the ‘how’s and ‘what’s in the world of genetics. However, we also strongly believe that the community within our industry, and their stories, are the why behind what we do. Whether you are a patient, healthcare provider, …


  • By Randalynn Vasel
  • Posted September 5, 2017

5 Ways my Friends and Family are Helping my Kids While I Battle Ovarian Cancer

Battling ovarian cancer is HARD.  It’s humbling and some days it forces you to use every ounce of energy you have to lift your head off the pillow.  Ovarian cancer doesn’t discriminate and hits out of nowhere, with no warning.  As a mother of two young children, it wasn’t just difficult for me - the diagnosis, surgeries and treatment affected …