Cancer previvors are people at higher-risk of contracting cancer due to a predisposed condition for cancer yet haven’t had the disease.
This refers to those with hereditary genetic mutations, those with a family history of cancers, or people with other predisposing conditions that could possibly produce cancer.
An example of a hereditary genetic mutation would be the BRCA1 gene responsible for higher risks of breast and ovarian cancers in women and breast, pancreatic and prostate cancers in men.
In 2010, Congress passed a resolution creating the first National Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Week and National Previvor Day thanks to the efforts of the organization FORCE- Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered. They also created the term “previvor” as a portmanteau of “predisposition” and “survivor” which has since become commonplace in the cancer community.
It was created to raise awareness of inherited, hereditary cancers. Hereditary genetics can show a predisposition for various cancers including breast cancer, ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer and melanoma. It draws attention to the importance of hereditary cancer screenings for the possible presence of these genetic mutations.
National Previvor Day is observed in the middle of the last week of September, during National Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Week, bridging the gap between the National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month of September and National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.
For more information on National Previvor Day and National Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Week, contact FORCE; Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowerment, the originators of the awareness week at http://www.facingourrisk.org/get-involved/events/special-event.php.
Also, for more information about Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer (HBOC), read http://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/hereditary-breast-and-ovarian-cancer.