Health Alert: Ovarian cancer

NATIONAL - A pair of sisters who share everything takes on new meaning when one is diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Doctors are using genetic analysis to understand the deadly cancer.

Jayne Gilbride Bauer and Joan Shea are identical twins, but now Jayne has a personal battle to fight - ovarian cancer.

"And then immediately I was so worried for her because I would do anything to spare her this."

Hackensack University Medical Center is on a mission to educate women about the signs of ovarian cancer, as well as use high-tech genetic research to understand it better.

Dr. Andre Goy says, "Tumors can look the same under the microscope and behave very differently beyond the size and the shape of the cells."

By analyzing blood and ovarian tumors, doctors hope to better predict the success of treatments.

Dr. Daniel H. Smith says, "Your tumor is identified with a person reasonably identical tumor-wise, etcetera, and who got a treatment and they did well. And you try that treatment."

They're also looking for genetic markers to predict ovarian cancer, and even resistance to chemotherapy.

Dr. Goy said, "I really do believe in the future we will identify both signatures of early detection and signatures that, or, early resistance, or chemo sensitivity."

As chemotherapy targets Jayne's cancer, her sister recovers from ovary-removal surgery.

"In a way it's a gift that's been given to me that I will be at less of a risk now for ovarian cancer as a result of what Jayne has to go through."

And a shared hope ovarian cancer isn't a family legacy.

The Hackensack University Medical Center offers a program called the Maureen Fund, named for a woman who battled ovarian cancer.

Posted by Bryce Mursch