SHAREing & CAREing Holds Genetic Cancer Seminar
Members of SHAREing & CAREing and concerned area residents gathered at Riccardo's by the Bridge last Wednesday, March 19, for a community seminar on genetic testing for individuals who may find that breast and ovarian cancers run in their families. City Councilmember David Weprin was also in attendance. SHAREing & CAREing Co-Founder and President Anna Kril introduced Carol Scarano, Lucille Hartmann and Mary Demakos, also co-founders, and moderated a discussion of the pros and cons of genetic testing. Kril introduced Dr. Panagiotis Manolas, chief of surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital Queens, speaking on behalf of Myriad Genetic Laboratories, and Robert Finch, a certified genetics counselor formerly associated with Sloan Kettering Memorial Hospital. Both discussed hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, identifying the "breast cancer gene", who should be tested and how, and, most important, the risk reducing options for individuals who may be susceptible to developing such cancers.
The risk of hereditary breast and ovarian cancers can be higher for people who find they develop breast cancer before reaching age 50, who develop ovarian cancer at any age, any of whose male relatives has developed male breast cancer or in whose families two or more breast cancers have been diagnosed. It was stressed that these criteria do not apply to the population at large and that on average, only one in 500 people stands a good chance to be diagnosed with an inherited form of breast or ovarian cancer.
During the question and answer period, Kril, Hartmann, Demakos and Scarano urged participants, survivors and family members to address any concerns they might have regarding inherited breast cancer.