• An open letter to all my patients about MyRisk

    I am writing this letter to let you know of some amazing and exciting news that has become available in my practice! Over the last several years I have had an interest in genetics and its role in hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndromes. A few months ago Myriad Genetics, in consultation with their local representative, has made my office an “early access’ provider for their new genetic panel, called MyRisk. This test is designed for patients who have a personal or family history pattern of multiple, rare, or early onset cancers. A brief questionnaire filled out in my office will identify whether or not you qualify for testing according to well established guidelines provided by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN). The ultimate goal of testing is to detect patients who are positive for these mutations and perform risk reducing surgeries at the appropriate age and time, before these cancers appear.

    This new and innovative gene panel checks for 25 genes that focus on eight cancer sites: breast, colorectal, endometrial, ovarian, pancreatic, gastric, prostate, and melanoma. This information can be life saving for not only the individual being tested, but also for their sons and daughters, as well as any brothers and sisters. The important point about all these genes is they are actionable-meaning there is enough published information to guide medical and surgical management for patients who may unknowing harbor these hidden but deadly genes.

    The MyRisk panel is generally covered by private insurance when appropriate personal or family history reveals a pattern of similar cancers. This unique and comprehensive panel reveals more valuable information than all the PAP smears, blood tests, and biopsies that I do every day in the office! Positive results (a bad gene is present) is ironically positive for my patients. Armed with this information, specific protocols and modified medical management can be developed for a woman’s unique situation. When the time is right, risk-reducing surgery can dramatically reduce the cancer risk almost to zero! Be proactive and take charge of your genetic destiny! Don’t bury your head in the sand. If you think your family history puts you at risk, call and make an appointment right away to discuss your genetic risk. I look forward to seeing you soon and ensuring your good health for many years to come.

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