Patient Leader

I am the co-author along with Dr. Jonathan Herman of Letters to Doctors: Patients Educating Medical Professionals through Practical True Life Experiences. The BRCA Mutation and Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Syndrome Edition. I'm also the co-creator of the BRCA Sisterhood, along with Karen Malkin-Lazarovitz, on Facebook. Synopsis of Letters to Doctors: This original book combines the perspective of a practicing Obstetrics/Gynecologist and a BRCA1 positive patient who met online. Through their mutual desire to help people who live with the threat or actuality of BRCA mutations and Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Syndrome (HBOC), Dr. Herman and Teri Smieja have become HBOC/BRCA advocates and work tirelessly to inform, educate, and empower those faced with hereditary cancers. Merging the dynamics of a doctor and a patient who share a common goal of educating not just patients, but healthcare professionals too, results in an easy to read, hard to put down book that’s been written specifically for the healthcare professional, making this a book like no other in the HBOC/BRCA realm. It is their belief that physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and most of those working within the healthcare industry welcome education and constructive criticism, as long as it truly is well intended and presented in a positive and engaging manner. By sharing their viewpoints, along with those of many women (and men) affected by HBOC and BRCA mutations, their goal is to give doctors and other medical professionals a valuable tool in helping to provide better and more specialized healthcare to the high cancer risk patient.


Best in Show: Community or Forum

Teri has created a source of strength and inspiration for over 2000 as the founder of the BRCA Sisterhood, an online community of women who support each other through decisions as they face life with HBOC.  — Andrea


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