Spotlight on U: Genetic Testing for Cancer Risk Saves the Barbour Family


Manage episode 248087481 series 1255000
By Health U The Hackensack Meridian Health Podcast. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
Something didn’t feel right for Sue Barbour. She was experiencing pressure in her urinary tract, and thought perhaps it was a UTI. After seeing a urologist, a CT scan was ordered which revealed growing cysts on her pancreas. Although there were no indications of pancreatic cancer, Sue has a family history of various cancers. Sue was referred to Ocean Medical Center for genetic testing. Instead of only testing for the cancers that run in her family, a multigene panel test was conducted. Testing revealed a particular gene mutation that comes with an 87% risk of thyroid cancer. Sue was referred to Jersey Shore University Medical Center to have her thyroid removed. Because this gene mutation is genetic, Sue has taken charge in helping to get her entire family tested. Four of Sue’s children, two of her brothers, three of her nieces and nephews, and one of her grandchildren tested positive for the RET gene mutation. Gene mutations can be either inherited or acquired. When they’re acquired, it’s typically because of environmental factors, like smoking or radiation. When they’re inherited, it’s because one generation passes abnormal genes to the next. The four most common types of hereditary cancer are breast, ovarian, uterine and colon cancers. If there are multiple people in your family that have had one of these cancers, and they were diagnosed under age 50, you should be referred for genetic testing. You can learn more at

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