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Should You Consider Genetic Counseling and Testing?

by Ellen T. Matloff, MS, CGC, and Karina L. Brierley, MS, CGC

Genetic counseling and testing have become integral tools in the fight against cancer. The results can provide important informa­tion to help guide appropriate surgical decisions, treatment, surveillance, and prevention strategies for an individual and his or her entire family. Awareness and availability of cancer genetic coun­seling and testing, criteria for insurance coverage of testing, and available test­ing options have expanded rapidly in the past decade. Therefore, even cancer survivors who did not previously have the chance to undergo genetic counsel­ing and testing, or who tested negative in the past, may now be candidates for these services.

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Hope for the Future

by Laxmi A. Kondapalli, MD, MSCE

With cancer survival rates steadily increasing, what was once considered a “terminal illness” now allows people to imagine a life after cancer with expectations beyond survival. However, some of the new life-saving treatments contributing to increased survival can negatively affect fertility, causing delays in child­bearing or even compromising a person’s ability to have children in the future. Fortunately, over the last several decades, the emergence of the medical discipline of oncofertility and the development of new fertility preservation techniques have made the dream of building a biological family a reality for many cancer survivors.

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Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer Shows a Decrease in Overall Cancer Deaths

The Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer has shown that death rates for lung cancer, which accounts for more than one in four cancer deaths, are dropping at a faster pace than in previous years. The report was coauthored by researchers from the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries.

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