(Left to right: Ophira Ginsburg, MD, MRCPC; Anna Cantor; Jessica Martineau, MS, CGC; Erika Stallings)
Taking place during October’s Breast Cancer Awareness month, the recent VET focused on Breast and Ovarian Cancer Awareness discussing the different backgrounds and methods of detecting and defeating breast cancer.
To better understand how to detect breast cancer, the panel explained the role of a “genetic counselor.” Genetic counselors whoattended the forum from NYU Langone Perlmutter Cancer Center, gave participants a brief lesson how genes and/or mutations are passed on through generations. Certain types of populations that are higher risk for mutations include those of Eastern European, Ashkenazi Jewish descent. Further, the counselors explained BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations and who should get tested based on several key risk factors, how to get tested (a blood sample) and how to interpret results and next steps.
Each panelist discussed their respective backgrounds with breast cancer. Erika Stallings, a NYJL volunteer, shared her personal experience with BRCA, why she decided to get tested and the steps she took once she found out she was positive. Over the course of the event, the questions from volunteers in attendance were thoughtful and the panelists were very professional, informative and respectful in their responses.
We are honored to be able to annually focus on this topic that continues to impact our community. A special thanks to this year’s contributors, Ophira Ginsburg, Anna Cantor, Jessica Martineau, and Erika Stallings, and those that have supported our efforts to educate NYJL Volunteers in the past too.