Thanksgiving is a day filled with food, football, and conversations with family. While loved ones spend time together safely this Thanksgiving, they should consider talking about family health history.
Recently, Susan Manley, senior vice president of Medical Services at Myriad Genetics and Ashley Dedmon, breast cancer previvor conducted a satellite media tour to talk about the importance of initiating health conversations at your holiday gathering.
A video accompanying this announcement is available at: https://youtu.be/j0VMnkq1ij4
More than half (55%) of respondents to a recent Myriad Genetics Cancer Risk survey of women said that it’s important to know their cancer risk for “peace of mind.” Yet, 20% of women say they don’t talk about health issues in their family.
This has potentially life-threatening consequences. Patients with a family history of breast, ovarian, uterine, or colorectal cancer may have a higher risk for developing these cancers.
Getting answers to these questions may qualify your viewers for genetic hereditary cancer testing, which can help people and their clinician determine if they are at an increased risk of developing specific types of cancer.
November is Family Health History Month. Encourage your audience to talk about family health history – it may save some lives.
Myriad Genetics has an easy-to-complete family health history form to help start the conversation and take notes. During the holiday season, people can bring this form along to family gatherings and complete it by asking as many blood relatives, parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles, sisters and brothers about their family history.
To learn more visit: myriad.com/KNOWYOURHISTORY
Susan Manley, MS, MBA
Senior Vice President, Medical Services
Myriad Genetics, Inc.
Salt Lake City, Utah
Susan received her undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a certification in biotechnology, her Master’s degree in Genetic Counseling from the University of Cincinnati, and her MBA from Loyola University in Maryland. She is an American Board of Genetic Counseling certified Genetic Counselor and holds a Genetic Counselor license in the state of Utah.
She has been employed at Myriad Genetics for the past 28 years in both medical support and commercialization capacities and has been involved in the development of the commercial genetic testing market from medical, ethical, clinical, counseling, sales and marketing standpoints. Currently, she oversees a large staff of licensed genetic counselors who provide professional customer support and patient education for Myriad’s hereditary cancer and prenatal products. She is published in the medical literature including JAMA, JCO and Breast Cancer Research and Treatment. This combination of clinical knowledge and commercialization experience is unique and valuable in precision medicine space.
Breast cancer has impacted Ashley Demon’s family since before she was born - three generations of women in her family have been impacted by this disease. Ashley’s great grandmother, grandmother and mother all passed away from breast cancer, Ashley’s mother at only 42, when Ashley was 21. Cancer didn't stop there: her father was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Ashley’s hereditary mutations heightened her cancer risk. After taking the MyRisk® Hereditary Cancer Test, she learned she carried the BRCA2 gene mutation, putting her at an elevated risk for breast, ovarian and other cancers. After her first daughter had successfully weaned from breastfeeding, Ashley consulted with her doctors and came to the decision to have a prophylactic mastectomy, a procedure which could significantly reduce her risk of developing breast cancer. Since then, Ashley’s been living a normal life and has since given birth to a second daughter. Ashley’s doctors continue to actively monitor her health.