Dr. Saul Rivkin, who founded the Marsha Rivkin Center for Ovarian Cancer Research, will be honored on Nov. 9 by the center for his 17 years of work in research and treatment of the disease. The center is named for his first wife, Marsha, who died of ovarian cancer in 1993. The award, called the Babs Fisher Valor Award, is named for Fisher, a member of the Jewish community who died of the disease in 2004. According to the Rivkin Center, ovarian cancer affects approximately 200,000 women worldwide, 18,000 of them in the U.S., and 70 percent of those diagnoses are terminal. However, the center also notes that 90 percent of early diagnoses offer greater chances for survival. Jewish women who carry the BRCA1 or 2 gene mutation, which is better known for its high connection to breast cancer risk, also has a 45 percent risk of developing ovarian cancer.
Rivkin was one of Swedish Medical Center’s first medical oncologists when he began working there in 1971, and retired from Swedish this past July to devote more time to the Rivkin Center.