The Truths About Testing “True Negative”

Photo Credit: MIKI Yoshihito, via Flickr.

Photo Credit: MIKI Yoshihito, via Flickr.

Our CEO and President, Ellen T. Matloff, sat down with a former patient who also had the perspective of being a medical student (he is now a practicing physician).

Carl’s story starts with his mother’s various cancers and her genetic testing. She tested positive for an Hereditary Non-polyposis Colorectal Cancer (Lynch syndrome) associated gene, MSH2. This gene mutation increases the risk of the cancers seen in their family, including ovarian, colorectal and endometrial cancer.

Carl shares his personal genetic testing experience to find out if he had inherited the mutated gene from his mother. Both he and his brother had a 50% risk of inheriting the familial mutation. After his brother discovered he was positive for the mutation, Carl received his negative result. Carl expresses the “survivor guilt” phenomenon he experienced.

Care providers may not be aware of genetic counseling or understand the impact it has on patients and their medical treatment. Carl and Ellen suggest writing out your family history, including cancers and any kind of medical condition. This is a valuable tool that can be handed down to future generations.

Listen to or download the full podcast episode here