Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month Congressional Briefing

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  • Did you know Ovarian Cancer is the only gender-specific cancer with greater than a 50% mortality rate and accounts for more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system?
  • Did you know that one in two women diagnosed die from ovarian cancer?
  • Did you know Black women have a much higher 5-year mortality rate (62%) vs. Caucasian women (54%) from Ovarian Cancer?
  • Did you know that Ovarian Cancer is frequently missed or mis-diagnosed due to symptoms that overlap with more benign conditions such as Endometriosis and due to diagnostic tests being used that were never created for this purpose?
  • Did you know there is no National Medicare Coverage Determination or Policy for the FDA-cleared diagnostic test designed specifically for ovarian cancer, but rather for the general CA125 that misses well over half of all cases of cancer once a mass is found and primarily detects only when it is late-stage (and too late) – more so in Black and Brown women than any other category, as CA125 misses between 37-67% of ovarian cancer cases in Black women?
  • Did you know the BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations in the general population is estimated at 1:400, and the prevalence in the Hispanic population has not even been established?
  • Did you know that the Veterans Affairs healthcare system is a high-volume provider of cancer care, women are the fastest growing patient population using VA healthcare services, and the proportion of ovarian cancer cases in active duty women < 45 years of age is substantially greater than in the general population?
  • Did you know an annual gynecological exam does NOT test for Ovarian Cancer while it does cover Cervical and other cancers?



  • Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, Chair of the House Appropriations Committee
  • Congresswoman Madeline Dean, Co-chair of the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues
  • Dr. Elena Ratner, Associate Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences; Co-Chief, Section of Gynecologic Oncology, Yale School of Medicine
  • Linda Goler Blount, President & CEO, Black Women’s Health Imperative
  • Valerie Palmieri, CEO, Aspira Women’s Health
  • Dr. Diane Powis, Psychologist and Clinical Specialist affiliated with Greenwich Hospital Association, Yale New Haven and patient
  • Vanessa Cramer, Policy Director, Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance



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