Hereditary Cancer 2019 Conference: coming April 26

This conference increases professional knowledge of genetic testing, including the expanding market for direct-to-consumer genetic testing, proposed State of Michigan legislation regarding family history intake questions, mitigation and treatment of patient and family anxiety brought on by the testing and diagnosis, and the significant advances being made utilizing genetic testing for diagnosis, prevention, and targeted therapy.

Genetics has entered the popular mainstream, yet patient and provider knowledge about how genetic information can be used to improve health of individuals and populations continues to evolve. The proliferation of direct-to-consumer genetic tests provides both opportunities and challenges.  This talk will review past, present and future applications of clinical genetics.

 Between 5% and 20% of people diagnosed with cancer harbor pathogenic germline variants in cancer predisposition genes. Making the diagnosis of a hereditary cancer syndrome has implications not only for patients but also for their relatives. In addition, knowledge gaps regarding diagnosis and management of hereditary cancer syndromes--on the part of medical providers, patients, and payers hinder effective clinical implementation of genetic testing.  Interventions aimed at providers and patients designed to decipher the complexities of genetic risk assessment--from assessing family history to ordering, interpreting, and sharing genetic test results--are sorely needed to realize the potential for genetic testing to reduce the burden of cancer at the population level and to harness advances in treatment for patients affected by the disease.