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Teal Ribbons Out in F.O.R.C.E.

The breast cancer awareness campaign has been remarkably successful: kids wearing pink rubber bracelets that say Save the TaTas! are everywhere; breast cancer walks and road races abound. Swag ranging from pink umbrellas to pink pens, water bottles, totes, cheap (but pink) sunglasses, and pink baseball hats are now part of the fashion firmament.

On June 16, at Pine Orchard Yacht and Country Club in Branford, pink changes to teal – the color of the ribbon that signifies the fight against ovarian cancer. When the Fourth Annual Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Ladies’ Golf & Tennis Tournament takes over the club, you’re going to have a good time, and you’re also going to learn something important.

“It’s a day of fun,” says Kate Berges, chairperson for the event on the behalf of F.O.R.C.E. (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered). “I don’t want to mess it up boring people with a lot of research findings and scary health issues, but the whole idea is to educate people about the BRCA gene.”

Berges is quite right about a day of fun. It begins at 8:30 a.m. with breakfast, followed by golf or tennis, lunch, a fashion show and a silent auction. She’s also right about the health issues and research.

The efforts of this event target two insidious cancers, the risks for which can be inherited and can be identified by a rather simple blood test which few of us – men or women – even know about. That test looks for the mutated BRCA gene.

We all have BRCA1 or BRCA 2 genes. Their job is to suppress tumors. But if that gene mutates, it causes cancer. The mutated BRCA genes not only significantly raise the risk of breast cancer (up to 87%) but also for ovarian cancer (up to 60%) – enough to strongly motivate those who test positive for the mutated gene to opt for mastectomies and the removal of ovaries. That risk can be passed on to the next generation from mothers and fathers. That’s why education on this issue is so crucial.

Shotgun start is at 9:30 a.m. for 9 holes of golf or tennis, followed by lunch and learning.

For event sign-up: www.force.dojiggy.com

For more information: www.facingourrisk.org and www.basser.org

Image Credits: Shutterstock

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