Approximately 12% of women in the United States will develop breast cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. That’s more than 30,000 in Tucson alone, 2,500 of whom are estimated to have a genetic risk factor for cancer. In response to this growing concern, The Breast Center at Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital in Tucson is collaborating with genetic services specialist InformedDNA to provide a hereditary risk assessment and genetic counseling program. Available now to patients of The Breast Center, the program helps identify those women at higher risk for cancer, before diagnosis, and helps individuals make informed decisions about their medical care.
The Breast Center at St. Mary’s is offering women genetic risk assessments before diagnosis, at the time they receive a screening mammogram. Patients do not pay more for the risk assessment at The Breast Center, whether the patient is insured (the copay does not increase) or uninsured and paying out of pocket.
“The gold standard of care for a person at high risk for cancer is having genetics experts on an integrated care team, especially if he or she is considering genetic testing. InformedDNA’s national network of genetics specialists delivers services via phone and online, making it easier and faster for facilities like The Breast Center at Carondelet St. Mary’s to provide the best care possible,” said
David Nixon, CEO at InformedDNA.
“InformedDNA’s Hereditary Risk Assessment Program is a powerful tool that allows us to identify and help high-risk patients,” said Gerlinde Tynan, MD, Breast Surgeon and Medical Director of The Breast Center at Carondelet St. Mary’s and the Breast Health Program at Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital. “We want to identify patients who may be at higher risk before they develop cancer. Knowing the risk empowers patients to take steps that may help them avoid cancer altogether. We’re really excited about this program. It’s a great example of Carondelet’s commitment to providing the safest and best care possible.” ■