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Importance of Genetic Link to Breast Cancer Increases with Latest Study

Conclusions of another medical study add to the growing support for the role a person’s genetics plays in determining cancer risk and treatment. Specifically, genetic testing of patients with breast cancer serves as an important model of how genomic sequencing can influence treatment decision-making, says a new study published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

(The Baptist Health South Florida News Team hears from Jeffrey Boyd, Ph.D., director of translational research and genomic medicine at Miami Cancer Institute, about the important role genetics plays in understanding tumors. Video by Steve Pipho)

Jeffrey Boyd, Ph.D., director of translational research and genomic medicine at Miami Cancer Institute, says he is excited about the power of genetics in understanding tumors and helping the ‘previvor’ population – a group of people he defines as those who have an increased chance at surviving cancer as a result of genetic testing.

Dr. Boyd, certified genetic counselors and other physicians use the genetic testing lab Miami Cancer Institute’s Center for Genomic Medicine to analyze raw data that can be used to develop a cancer patient’s treatment plan, as well as assess his or her risk of getting another type of cancer.

“We analyze genes compared to what is normal. When there is a variation from the norm, it may be interpreted to be a benign genetic variation or a variation associated with increased lifetime cancer risks,” says Jessica Ordonez, a certified genetic counselor at Miami Cancer Institute.

To learn more about genetic testing and cancer, watch the video and read these articles: