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New Genetics Program to Help Minimize Cancer Risk

Mar 7, 2016

West Palm Beach, Fla. (March 7, 2016) Good Samaritan Medical Center’s new Cancer Genetics Program can help determine whether you are at risk for certain types of cancer. The program, led by Dr. Elisabeth McKeen, medical oncologist, and Conni Murphy, a nurse practitioner with specialized training in cancer genetics, consists of a genetic screening process and counseling sessions.

During your initial evaluation period, you will fill out a questionnaire, which includes questions regarding your personal and family history of cancer. The next step is genetic testing, which consists of a simple mouthwash or blood test. Analysis of the sample can determine if you inherited a gene mutation that may increase your cancer risk. However, it is important to remember that testing positive for a gene mutation is not a guarantee of developing cancer.

The results of genetic testing can help you make informed decisions about how to best manage your future healthcare. They may also assist your doctor in developing a personalized plan of care. For example, if it is determined that you are at risk for breast cancer, you may be advised to add breast MRIs to your routine screenings to aid in early detection.

“The Good Sam Cancer Institute has been a leader in cancer prevention and treatment within our community for decades,” said CEO Mark Nosacka. “With the addition of the Cancer Genetics Program, we are expanding our services by allowing people to have the opportunity to determine whether they have a higher-than-average risk of cancer. This service will potentially enable us to expand the number of people that can be helped at the Good Sam Cancer Institute and the Good Sam Breast Institute.”

Before and after genetic testing, you may have a genetic counseling session, where a member of the program’s specially trained staff will help explain your results and answer any questions or concerns you may have. Additionally, Good Samaritan’s pastoral care team can help you cope psychologically with the results of your genetic testing, and the hospital’s nutrition team is available to help maintain your nutritional well-being to reduce the risk of recurrence.

For more information, contact Conni Murphy at 561-650-6084 or visit our Genetic Screening page.

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