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Click any sign on the guide post to read Key Information.Marlene BaruchNurse Educator and Genetic Counselor
Marlene Baruch, RN, MSN
High Point, NC

While cancers are random in their attacks, the tendency to develop certain cancers runs in families. Marlene Baruch is a nurse educator for the Comprehensive Women’s Center and stays on top of the latest information about genetic testing and how these results can help you and your family in your battle against this disease. Through her years of working with cancer patients, she has informally asked cancer survivors to help new patients through the journey. She is excited that GPS now provides a formal way to train and assign mentors to newly diagnosed cancer patients.

Key information from GPS’s genetic counselor:

Advances in genetic testing over the last 10 years have been tremendous. We can now test for genetic links for the following cancers:

  • Breast
  • Ovarian
  • Colon
  • Endometrial

What exactly is “genetic testing?” Genetic testing examines your DNA (we get a sample from your blood or other tissue) for a gene change that can cause or predispose you to a disease or disorder. For example, if you have a parent with a genetic mutation, you have a 50% chance of inheriting that gene.

Before someone like Marlene does the actual DNA test, however, she or he will talk with you and carefully assesses your family history to determine whether you are a candidate for genetic tests.

The genetic counselor then combines computer data analysis with information you provide about your family history to help determine whether genetic testing is right for you.

Genetic testing is a quickly evolving field in medicine. More information about the genetic links between cancers and family lines is being gathered daily and may just provide the information we need today to successfully fight tomorrow’s cancers.

Costs and Coverage

Will insurance cover the testing? The labs that actually perform the genetic tests have employees who investigate your insurance coverage for you. If anyone can get insurance covered for these tests, these people will. In the meantime they stay closely in touch with you and will let you know what, if anything, you owe. Rest assured, you will not be charged unless you give your approval.

Test Results

Be patient. It often takes days and sometimes weeks to receive the results from genetic tests.

How will these test results affect me and my family? For example, a positive result to the BRAC analysis (a test for a genetic link to breast cancer) may alert a woman to the fact that her type breast cancer and her family history combine to put her at a higher risk for ovarian cancer. Knowing this ahead of time can help you and your doctors plan the more appropriate treatment options.

These results may also indicate that your female relatives need to be tested and possibly treated too.

Links / Apps

Myriad Laboratory — explains genetic testing

American Cancer Society — reviews the importance of genetic testing

The American Medical Women’s Association — For the most up-to-date information on women and women’s health issues

Key Info Costs and Coverage Test Results Links and Apps

 

Key information

Advances in genetic testing over the last 10 years have been tremendous. We can now test for genetic links for the following cancers:

  • Breast
  • Ovarian
  • Colon
  • Endometrial

What exactly is “genetic testing?” Genetic testing examines your DNA (we get a sample from your blood or other tissue) for a gene change that can cause or predispose you to a disease or disorder. For example, if you have a parent with a genetic mutation, you have a 50% chance of inheriting that gene.

Before someone like Marlene does the actual DNA test, however, she or he will talk with you and carefully assesses your family history to determine whether you are a candidate for genetic tests.

The genetic counselor then combines computer data analysis with information you provide about your family history to help determine whether genetic testing is right for you.

Genetic testing is a quickly evolving field in medicine. More information about the genetic links between cancers and family lines is being gathered daily and may just provide the information we need today to successfully fight tomorrow’s cancers.

Costs and Coverage

Will insurance cover the testing? The labs that actually perform the genetic tests have employees who investigate your insurance coverage for you.

If anyone can get insurance covered for these tests, these people will. In the meantime they stay closely in touch with you and will let you know what, if anything, you owe.

Rest assured, you will not be charged unless you give your approval.

Test Results

Be patient. It often takes days and sometimes weeks to receive the results from genetic tests.

How will these test results affect me and my family? For example, a positive result to the BRAC analysis (a test for a genetic link to breast cancer) may alert a woman to the fact that her type breast cancer and her family history combine to put her at a higher risk for ovarian cancer. Knowing this ahead of time can help you and your doctors plan the more appropriate treatment options.

These results may also indicate that your female relatives need to be tested and possibly treated too.

Links / Apps

Myriad Laboratory — explains genetic testing

American Cancer Society — reviews the importance of genetic testing

The American Medical Women’s Association — For the most up-to-date information on women and women’s health issues

 


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