• By Bill Rotter
  • Posted December 29, 2016

Let's Not Forget The Cancer Caregivers

Having been diagnosed as a male with breast cancer almost three years ago to the day, I often reflect on how that diagnosis has changed my life forever. There was an immediate emotional impact that I felt that day, one I will never forget. I am quite sure that unless you have experienced the cancer journey, its many steps along the way are difficult …


  • By Georgia Hurst
  • Posted November 24, 2016

Collecting Your Family’s Medical History During the Holidays

Today is Thanksgiving in the U.S., and many of you will be spending a lot of time with your family – this is a stellar time to discuss collecting your family’s medical history. Multiple generations are usually present at holiday gatherings and the elders can be great sources of information about your family’s medical history. Recognizing …


  • By Emily Dalton, MS, CGC
  • Posted November 17, 2016

Why Family History Matters in Genetic Diagnosis

Editor’s Note: We are re-posting this entry by Emily Dalton, a certified genetic counselor, as National Family History Day approaches next week. Check back here to get tips from a patient advocate about collecting your family’s medical history.  We’ve all heard that genetics plays a big role in the development of cancer, including …


  • By Theresa Smith
  • Posted November 10, 2016

These Are My Genetic Test Results… Please Don’t Shoot the Messenger

Editor’s Note: We are re-posting Theresa Smith’s entry to tie in with National Family History Day on Thanksgiving in two weeks in the U.S. Theresa was kind enough to update her piece on the importance of sharing family history and genetic test results, as challenging as it may be at times. Check back here in two weeks …


  • By Deepti Babu, MS, CGC
  • Posted July 20, 2016

It's Complicated: Sharing Your Genetic Test Results

I feel funny writing about sharing genetic test results with family when I’ve never done it myself, but don’t let that stop you from reading… I’ll draw upon my years in the clinic as a genetic counselor,  speaking to many families about this topic, and offer thoughts from my side of the table. I have seen that it’s complicated for …


  • By Travis Bray
  • Posted May 18, 2016

A Brief History of Travis Bray

My story is one familiar to many in our community… but with a twist. Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) started in my family when my grandfather was diagnosed with terminal colon cancer at the age of 36. Three of his six children, including my father, were later found to have FAP. My mom suspected I had FAP as a toddler, although I wasn’t …


  • By Bill Rotter
  • Posted April 26, 2016

Sharing My Diagnosis and Genetic Testing With Family and Friends

While it’s difficult for anyone to come to grips with a cancer diagnosis, it becomes more challenging having to share the news with family and friends. Especially when you are a man telling them you have breast cancer. People may look at you with a deer in the headlights stare….men get breast cancer? This was the reaction from many, as …


  • By Theresa Smith
  • Posted April 7, 2016

What Can I Do Until My Children Can Be Tested?

Dealing with your own BRCA1 or BRCA2 genetic testing results is one thing, but worrying about testing for your children is another. Especially when they are under 18 years old. There is a very real possibility that people will have to wait for years for their kids to find out if they are positive or negative for the mutation. There …


  • By Jessica Profato
  • Posted April 5, 2016

When should my children be tested for hereditary cancer?

When I was a clinical genetic counselor, each patient that I met with for genetic counseling had some different questions about how their positive genetic test results could impact their care or that of their family members. A common theme among patients who had children was that they wanted to know if, when, and how their children should …


  • By Theresa Smith
  • Posted March 22, 2016

Hang on a Minute, Let’s Think This Through

After testing positive for a mutation in my BRCA2 gene, I was on high alert. I rushed to all my doctor’s appointments and gathered a lot of information regarding preventive surgery options. I also did a lot of research on the statistics and newer medical studies regarding BRCA1 and BRCA2. I evaluated everything based …


  • By Eve Mart
  • Posted March 15, 2016

Supporting Friends and Family through their Cancer Journey

I’m not sure which is more painful, fighting your own cancer battle or supporting a loved one through it. I’ve been on both sides of the fence and still cannot answer that question. Support for me came in a variety of forms and in varying degrees from virtual strangers on internet message boards, acquaintances, co-workers, friends, and family. …


  • By Deepti Babu, MS, CGC
  • Posted March 10, 2016

It's Complicated: Sharing Your Genetic Test Results (Original)

I feel funny writing about sharing genetic test results when I’ve never done it myself, but don’t let that stop you from reading… I’ll draw upon my years in the clinic as a genetic counselor, speaking to many families about this topic, and offer thoughts from my side of the table. I have seen that it’s complicated for some families, …