• By Jessica Profato
  • Posted June 8, 2018

I Survived Cancer, so Why do I Need Genetic Testing for it?

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 Aaron Schmidt
  • Posted January 12, 2017

How Can You Use Social Media To Find Support And Resources

Editor's Note: At this time of reflection as we begin the new year, we are re-posting this piece by an expert in digital media/communications to offer you guidance when navigating social media during a journey with cancer or other health issue. Today, hectic work schedules and other increasing demands on everyone’s time mean we …


  • By Eve Mart
  • Posted August 9, 2016

Why Social Media Is Important For People With Breast Cancer

I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t read many blogs or follow people’s cancer experiences on social media, but I do see the value in them. Networks built around cancer – whether through Facebook, Twitter, blogs or hosted communities – have a particularly active presence in healthcare social media. During the past few years, through Facebook, …


  • 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 Carin Espenschied
  • Posted June 22, 2016

Decisions, Decisions: What To Consider When Deciding On Risk Reducing Surgery

If you have been diagnosed with an inherited colorectal cancer syndrome, your healthcare provider may have recommended that you consider having risk reducing surgery. Risk reducing colectomy is the removal of part (partial colectomy) or all (total colectomy) of the colon to reduce the risk of developing future cancer.  Risk reducing hysterectomy …


  • By Bill Rotter
  • Posted April 12, 2016

A Male Breast Cancer Perspective

Cancer is a difficult and tricky disease that tries to destroy us but now we are better prepared to fight back due to a stronger understanding of the disease. Cancer does not discriminate.  As a male, the day I learned I had breast cancer was one of total disbelief and overwhelming shock.  A diagnosis I was not prepared for.  Sure, I knew men …


  • By Eve Mart
  • Posted March 29, 2016

Peer Support

I hadn’t set out to be the “go-to-girl” for all things breast cancer, but when you’re faced with a challenge and come out on the other side fairing pretty well, I think people trust you. Maybe they’re just looking for positive support wherever they can, when they find themselves in a similarly difficult spot. It starts with a phone …


  • 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 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 Dr. Robina Smith
  • Posted January 7, 2016

6 questions to ask your doctor about your cancer diagnosis

Doubt, anger and confusion. These are understandable feelings to have, if you or someone close to you discovers that you/they have cancer, or may carry genes that increase the risk for cancer. What does that mean? What happens now? What is cancer? You may have been given unexpected news and may not know where to turn, who to see, or what to …