• By Brittney Murray, MS, CGC
  • Posted April 27, 2017

Using Technology to Help with your Genetic Heart Disease Risk

Technology is everywhere.  It has become pervasive in our lives.  Phones and computers became smaller, smaller, and then somehow bigger and bigger again as our phones become our new computers. Increasing technological advances are also propelling healthcare: newer techniques, smarter robotics, and new drugs.  Within genetics, testing techniques …


  • By Kory Jasperson, MS,CGC
  • Posted March 23, 2017

How Expert Care Teams Can Help You - Repost

Editor’s Note: In recognition of National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, we are re-posting this piece by an Ambry genetic counselor. His many years of clinical experience working with families affected by hereditary colorectal cancer helped him understand the importance of expert care teams, and how they can help you. My name is …


  • By Selvi Palaniappan, MS, CGC
  • Posted March 9, 2017

Individual Genetic Test Results Lead to Individual Considerations

As a genetic counselor specializing in cancer genetics, I’m happy to be contributing to the Ambry patient blog during National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Colorectal cancer can happen by chance, but it can also be inherited. Your doctor or genetic counselor can evaluate your family history to determine if you should consider genetic testing …


  • By Michelle Jackson
  • Posted August 4, 2016

And Now, A Little Something For the Men Facing Hereditary Cancer

As a female genetic counselor, I can say I have counseled many men regarding their risk for hereditary cancer.  I have seen the different reactions and responses they have had. I have looked for different information (from what I provided to females) to give to them, if it will help. I cannot say I have any idea what it is like to be a man …


  • By Tara Namey
  • Posted July 28, 2016

What to Expect Regarding Your Health Care Following the Identification of a BRCA1 or BRCA2 Gene Mutation

When you learn that you have a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation, there are naturally questions as to what this will mean for your ongoing medical care and what you will need to do differently.    The initial conversation with your healthcare provider will likely include a discussion about the options available to more carefully …


  • 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 Deepti Babu, MS, CGC
  • Posted June 30, 2016

What Healthcare Providers Learn from Their Patients

When you go to an appointment with your healthcare provider, what do you expect? Information. Discussion. Compassion. Maybe a plan. And for good measure, a joke or two? That’s what I expect, anyway, when things are going well. That combination definitely shifts if things aren’t going well with my health. Then I expect to learn facts, offered …


  • By Georgia Hurst
  • Posted June 6, 2016

The Importance of Genetic Counseling With Genetic Testing

As I sit in the hereditary cancer trenches, I see the negative effects of genetic testing sans certified genetic counseling every single day – and it is an enormous problem. Many of the fears and concerns that people discuss with me could be addressed and ameliorated simply if they spoke with a certified genetic counselor before …


  • By Carin Espenschied
  • Posted May 16, 2016

Adding Gastrointestinal Cancer Topics to our Blog

My name is Carin and I’m a genetic counselor at Ambry Genetics. I’ve been working at Ambry for about 2½ years and before that I worked as a clinical genetic counselor seeing patients at a cancer hospital for over six years. I have always had a special interest in hereditary gastrointestinal (GI) cancers. Gastrointestinal cancers, …


  • By Michelle Jackson
  • Posted April 14, 2016

Male breast cancer is rare, but it’s not that rarely inherited

When I was a clinical genetic counselor, I met with many men who had been diagnosed with breast cancer for genetic counseling and genetic testing. Counseling male breast cancer patients about genetics was often very different for me than counseling female breast cancer patients. I think the main reason for that is men and women are different and …


  • 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 Carin Espenschied
  • Posted March 24, 2016

How Laws Protect Genetic Information ( Original)

There are many different things to consider when deciding whether to have genetic testing. In addition to the impact of the test results on your physical and emotional health and that of your family members (more on that here), you should also consider your insurance coverage and the possibility of discrimination. When I met with patients as …


  • 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, …


  • By Jessica Profato
  • Posted March 3, 2016

I survived cancer, so why do I need genetic testing for it?

As As a clinical genetic counselor, I saw many cancer survivors for genetic counseling. In some cases, it had been 30-40 years since they were diagnosed. Some of them were in their 60s-70s when I saw them, but they were young at the time of their cancer diagnosis. Years later, they were referred to me to talk about the possibility that their …


  • By Jessica Profato
  • Posted February 4, 2016

Coping with Cancer: 5 Lessons from my Patients

As a clinical genetic counselor, a big part of my job was educating my patients about the basics of genetics and hereditarycancer. Another equally, if not more, important part of my job was to talk to them about how a diagnosis of cancer, a positive genetic test result, or a combination of the two was impacting their life and those of their …


  • By Deepti Babu, MS, CGC
  • Posted January 21, 2016

Advocacy groups: I got more out of it than they did

Several years ago when I was a new genetic counselor, doe-eyed and fresh out of grad school, I made sure certain topics came up in every session I had with a family. I covered the facts: the family history I’d collected, a review of genetic patterns, and any genetic testing options the family needed to consider. I’d usually write down …


  • By Jessica Profato
  • Posted December 18, 2015

What do Genetic Counselors Do? (Original)

My name is Jessica Profato-Partlow. I am a relatively new member of the Ambry Genetics family, and very excited to be a part of Hereditarycancer.com. As a clinical genetic counselor prior to joining Ambry, I spent several years providing hereditary cancer genetic counseling services to many families at a busy cancer hospital. In that setting, …


  • By Michelle Jackson
  • Posted December 4, 2015

What is hereditarycancer.com and how can it benefit me?

My name is Michelle Jackson. I am a genetic counselor that began working at Ambry Genetics after years providing genetic counseling to many families in a busy cancer hospital. I know firsthand how cancer has affected my family, but also how it has impacted the thousands of families I saw before I came to Ambry. I am also a mother, a wife, …