In Part 1 of this series, we looked at what inheriting a specific defective gene associated with cancer means (it doesn’t mean you will get cancer), as well as who should consider genetic testing. In Part 2, we look at the decision-making process for getting a genetic test to assess cancer risk and how to assess test results.
How to decide if you should test
Before making a decision about getting...
As science has advanced, so has our ability to understand, and predict, our own health risks. Genetic testing plays a large role in this prediction model. Genetic testing looks for specific inherited changes (mutations) in a person’s chromosomes, genes or proteins. Mutations that are harmful may increase a person’s chance of developing cancer. Inherited mutations are thought to play a role in...
Author’s note: While oncology comprises the bulk of Dr. Jorge Perez’s practice, he is board certified in both oncology and hematology. For patients with blood disorders, his knowledge and expertise can be life-changing.
Susan W. was a healthy, fit 55-year old professional living in San Francisco who enjoyed hiking and yoga. Until she wasn’t.
Over the course of 2011, she developed a series...
In Part 1 of this series we discussed how to talk to your family about your cancer diagnosis. In this blog, we address talking to your boss and co-workers about your disease.
Should you tell your boss about your diagnosis? Do co-workers need to know? Will it affect how they treat you? Could you lose your job?
Should you talk about your cancer at work?
These are not simple questions, nor are...
What do you say? What do they say? What do you want them to say?
When do you break the news? How often do you bring it up?
Talking about a cancer diagnosis – or any health crisis – can be challenging, uncomfortable and emotional. In this blog, we tackle how to talk to your family about your cancer diagnosis.
Where to begin
Only you can decide when and how to tell your family you have cancer....
As of January 2016, it is estimated that there are 15.5 million cancer survivors in the United States, representing 4.8% of the population. Everyone has a unique experience with life after cancer treatment. While some are able to resume their lives with minimal changes, many people have some residual effects — either emotional, physical or both.
There is no one “normal” after cancer treatment — ...
The holiday season is upon us and that means the gift-buying season has also arrived. Choosing gifts for friends and family can be a challenge — Will it fit? Will they use it? Will they like it? Those challenges can be magnified when buying a gift for someone undergoing cancer treatment.
We researched gift ideas from a number of cancer support websites, including ihadcancer.com, and came up with...
Many cancer patients have someone in their life who is a vital part of their care team, but is not a paid medical professional. This caregiver is often a spouse, child, other relative or a close friend. If you’re caregiver to a patient, cancer or otherwise, you’re playing an essential role in another’s healthcare treatment and daily life.
What is a caregiver?
Though you may consider yourself a...
In terms of breast cancer diagnosis (or any cancer, really), there is a common refrain: The earlier, the better. In the context of cancer, this trite saying can be applied to when the cancer is diagnosed, or “caught.” If you catch a tumor at an earlier stage, your chances of recovery and a return to a high quality of life are far greater.
Because early diagnosis is so important, it’s vital to...
In July of this year, Senator John McCain announced to the nation that he had brain cancer — specifically, glioblastoma.
The tumor was discovered when the 80-year old Arizona senator went in for a routine physical exam and a blood clot was discovered above his left eye. During the procedure to remove the blood clot, tissue pathology revealed that a glioblastoma was associated with the clot....