Photo Credit: MIKI Yoshihito, via Flickr.
Updated: March 6, 2019
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 a mutation in the MSH2 gene, which is associated with Lynch syndrome (also known as Hereditary Non-polyposis Colorectal Cancer). This condition 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 MSH2 mutation 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 can have on patients, their medical care, and their families. 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.