Decoding Annie Parker comes to London with messages of awareness and hope

Genetic screening an important tool for helping women determine cancer risk

September 24, 2013

"Decoding Annie Parker" had its Canadian premiere in London on September 19, raising $10,000 for the Diane Graham Memorial Fund, which benefits St. Joseph’s Breast Care Centre. The film depicts the true stories of Canadian Annie Parker and geneticist Dr. Mary-Claire King as they work in their own ways to effect change in the understanding of familial breast cancer, culminating in the discovery of the  BRCA1 gene.

The event featured an expert panel discussion following the screening which included Karen Panabaker, senior genetic counsellor at LHSC, who offered insight into the role of genetic testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2, and its availability here in London.

“It was an inspiring evening, and an honour to meet Annie Parker who has survived breast and ovarian cancer”, said Panabaker. “The message in this movie will truly hit home for a large number of families already seen in our clinic, and will most definitely raise awareness about hereditary breast and ovarian cancer in general.” 

The Medical Genetics Program of Southwestern Ontario provides comprehensive services in medical genetics (general and pediatric genetics, prenatal, metabolic) to individuals, couples, and families in London and surrounding area, in a caring, respectful, and compassionate environment for all patients.  

The Cancer Genetics Program (CGP) is a collaborative effort between the London Regional Cancer Program (LRCP) and London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC). The program offers genetic counselling and testing for families at risk for inherited forms of breast, ovarian or colorectal cancer. Most of these cancers occur randomly, however, a small number of cases (5 -10%) are linked to a strong family history of cancer. These cancers may be the result of identifiable gene mutations.

Services available to individuals and families include: genetic counselling, testing, assessment, education and surveillance. Learn more about the Cancer Genetics Program.