Dr. Chap explains how beneficial genetic counseling results are for a physician learning about a patient's risk for cancer.
Well, in terms of talking to women about their risk, for example, in terms of developing a cancer, of which the most common is breast cancer, much less common is ovarian cancer, although a common fear of women because it is not easily detected. It’s the physician’s responsibility who is seeing that patient to be able to look at the different risk factors that a woman may have for either of these malignancies or other malignancies, for example, like colon cancer, and what a physician takes into account is the family medical history is extremely important. And a common misconception is that only the mother’s side of the history is important, but it’s equally important to elucidate what the father’s history is because different genetic predisposition, which increases the risk for cancer, can be passed on from the father as well.
So looking not only at the genetics, what we call a family pedigree and a family medical history of cancer being extremely important, both on the mother and father’s side, but also in terms of looking at lifestyle-type risks--the age of childbearing, alcohol intake, tobacco–all of those things, such as exercise, are very important.
About Dr. Linnea Chap, M.D.:
Linnea Chap, M.D., is a medical oncologist with an interest in breast cancer treatment. She has been published multiple times and has led several breast and ovarian cancer treatment protocols, including the pioneering use of novel biologic agents such as Herceptin and Avastin. In 2001, Dr. Chap was named, one of “America’s Top Breast Cancer Doctors” by Redbook. Annually, she has also been listed as one of “America’s Top Doctors for Cancer,” published by Michael Connelly. Recognized for her teaching and speaking skills, Dr. Chap has a national reputation where she is frequently called on to speak on the most recent advances in breast cancer treatment.
Visit Dr. Chap at Saint John's Health Center