October 1, 2019 by Peter B. Laird
Genetic Testing for Cancer Prevention, Early Detection
Research shows people who have hereditary cancer gene mutations could be at risk of getting cancer earlier in life. And because advances in genetic screening are helping to detect cancer risk sooner so it can be managed appropriately, hundreds of people each year are using the genetic testing available at Bethesda Hospital locations in Palm Beach County, Fla.
(Video: The Baptist Health News Team hears from Jessica McAfee, ARNP at Bethesda Women’s Health Center, about genetic testing for people at high-risk of breast and other cancers. Video by Steve Pipho)
Certified genetic counselors have assisted more than 700 patients who have visited Bethesda Women’s Health Center in Boynton Beeach. Patients who have an increased risk of developing cancer are identified according to answers they provide to clinicians’ questions about their personal and family health history.
“When we identify someone who can benefit from more in-depth screening, we put them in touch with genetic counselors on the phone who explain the testing process while they’re here with us. A number of patients who may have developed cancer if they had not been screened have benefited from this proactive and convenient way to determine risk,” said Jessica McAfee, an advanced registered nurse practitioner (ARNP) and genetic specialist at Bethesda Women’s Health Center. “Because genetic testing results can help patients make informed decisions about their health, we get a lot of positive feedback about making it readily available.”
The testing includes high-risk breast cancer screening component, as well as identifying risk of other cancer types in women and men.
The Baptist Health South Florida News Team visited the Bethesda Health Women’s Health Center team to learn more. Watch the video now.