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Why Do Breast Cancer Patients Commonly Get Ovarian Cancer? - Dr. Chap (VIDEO)

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Dr. Chap introduces herself and describes why some patients with breast cancer end up with ovarian cancer.

Dr. Chap:
My name is Linnea Chap, and I am a medical oncologist, and really my expertise, or area that I specialize in, is in the treatment of women malignancies, primarily breast cancer and ovarian cancer, which are the most common in that population. Currently I am in a practice that is called Premiere Oncology, and it’s a very exciting, unique practice in that we focus on what’s called a drug development program. So looking at new treatments that are novel for the treatment, not only of women malignancies, but cancers in general.

Our practice is affiliated with Saint John’s, which is a private hospital here in Santa Monica, really drawing a large population of patients, not only from Santa Monica and the West Side, but bringing in patients actually even from out of state who come here for the care that can be provided.

Well, it’s not altogether too common, but there is a relationship in that if you look at women with breast cancer, for example, as a general population, their risk for ovarian cancer nearly doubles compared to the rest of the population who has not had a cancer. But in the big scheme of things, even though from a patient’s perspective that doubling sounds very high, fortunately ovarian cancer is relatively uncommon.

So if you look at a woman’s lifetime risk for ovarian cancer, it’s one out of 70 so that will go to one out of 35 for a woman who has had breast cancer. So about 2.8% versus 1.4% lifetime risk. Now there is a connection though of genetic syndromes in women who have a hereditary mutation that they’ve had a gene passed on from their mother or father, which may predispose them to ovarian cancer as well as breast cancer. So that’s something, depending on age, as well as ethnicity and religious background, such as those patients of Ashkenazi Jewish heritage, might raise the suspicion for their being this genetic link in which the risk for ovarian cancer can be as high as 40-60%.

About Dr. Linnea Chap, M.D.:
Linnea Chap, M.D., is a medical oncologist with an interest in breast cancer treatment. She has been published multiple times and has led several breast and ovarian cancer treatment protocols, including the pioneering use of novel biologic agents such as Herceptin and Avastin. In 2001, Dr. Chap was named, one of “America’s Top Breast Cancer Doctors” by Redbook. Annually, she has also been listed as one of “America’s Top Doctors for Cancer,” published by Michael Connelly. Recognized for her teaching and speaking skills, Dr. Chap has a national reputation where she is frequently called on to speak on the most recent advances in breast cancer treatment.

Visit Dr. Chap at Saint John's Health Center

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