Genetic Counseling for Cancers Begin

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MEDFORD, Ore. — Specialized testing to detect the likelihood of several cancers is available for people in southern Oregon. Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center is teaming up with Oregon Health and Science University to bring this service to the Rogue Valley.

Jill Eversole is the first patient to get a counseling session.

“I’ve had two sisters that have  had cancer. One of them is  actually going through chemo  today. Two out of three sister? I  was very suspicious and in  addition, I’ve had some unusual  mammogram myself,” said Eversole.

Eversole headed to Asante for a counseling session for genetic counseling. Through a live video camera, a doctor at Oregon Health and Science University counseled Eversole.

OHSU health officials recommend a counseling session first to see if genetic testing is right for someone who wants to know or  even if someone already has cancer.

“Because it can be a very powerful tool for themselves and for their family members. So, if a woman has been diagnosed with breast cancer, she has a higher risk for a second primary breast cancer and also a higher risk for ovarian cancer,” said genetic counselor Kelly Johamman.

If someone has a history of family medical problems, Eversole says knowing is better than wondering.

“You shouldn’t be afraid to do  this. Not knowing something is  one way to cope with it but  knowing is a much better way to  cope with it. it makes you able to plan,” explained Everesole.

For more information on Asante’s genetic counseling, click here.

Providence Medford Medical Center also provides genetic mapping.