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, the most common of which is colorectal cancer,  don’t get as much attention as other cancer types, particularly breast cancer. This is also true for hereditary forms of these cancers. Hereditary breast and ovarian cancer and its most common causes, the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes,  have received a lot of attention in the media and popular press. As a result, more people know about this type of hereditary cancer and more people receive genetic testing for it. There are also many large support and advocacy organizations and informational resources related to breast and ovarian cancer and several well-established organizations and resources specifically for individuals with or at risk for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. The number of informational and support resources for GI cancers and specifically hereditary colorectal cancers, is much lower. Several wonderful organizations have formed in the past few years, focusing on information and support related to hereditary GI cancer and we wanted to supplement and support their efforts and increase awareness.

We have created a reliable informational resource for patients on hereditary colorectal cancer.  You can find this at Within this information, you’ll also find links to several other trusted informational and support resources. I have been fortunate to get to know the founders of several of these organizations. They each have unique stories and experiences with hereditary colorectal cancer to share with you and will be writing for this blog on a regular basis. 

We plan to have posts from patient advocates and clinicians/specialists. Most of the clinician/specialist posts will come from genetic counselors, many of whom work at Ambry and have past experience working with patients with hereditary cancer. We will also have occasional clinician guest writers with special expertise in a certain area. One goal of these posts is to provide you with information on topics and issues you may come across if you or your family members have a hereditary type of GI cancer. We also hope that hearing from others who may have gone through similar experiences will bring you support.

We hope you will find the resources on this site and our hereditary cancer blog helpful and that you will share them with others you think will benefit from them.

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