Medical Education Library
Knowing your patients’ cancer family history saves lives
Publish date: August 3, 2013
Author and Disclosure Information
Adam A. Ofer, MD
Director of Gynecology, Norwalk Hospital, Norwalk, Connecticut
Dr. Ofer reports that he is a speaker for Myriad Genetic Laboratories
With genomic technology advancing rapidly, we are quickly progressing into an exciting era where we will be able to practice truly personalized medicine and tailor patient care based on individual risk. To illustrate, every woman fits into one of 3 risk categories for breast cancer: those that carry sporadic, familial, or hereditary cancer risk. As the de facto primary care providers for many women, we have the responsibility to stratify every patient into one of these 3 categories in order to properly adapt screening and management decisions. Additionally, a focus on family history and risk stratification allows us the opportunity to detect those patients who carry one of several genetic mutations that dramatically increase their risk of developing cancer.