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Innovative Health Care Magazine

CANCER EXPERTProfiles 90 Special Section~Karmanos PINK OUT THE PARK Nancie Petrucelli, Senior Genetic Counselor at the Karmanos Cancer Institute Innovative Health - Summer 2016 Nancie Petrucelli is coordinator and senior genetic counselor of the Cancer Genetic Counseling Service at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit and Farmington Hills. She will soon be sharing her expertise with Karmanos Cancer Institute at McLaren Flint as well. Petrucelli has 20 years of clinical genetics experience. She received her Master’s degree at the University of Cincinnati and is certified by the American Board of Genetic Counseling. She began her genetic counseling career at the Yale Cancer Center and also developed the Cancer Genetics Program at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit before coming to Karmanos Cancer Institute in 2001. She counsels patient and their family members about their risk of cancer and is actively involved in education and teaching about genetics, as well as clinical research. Petrucelli is active with many groups to help raise awareness of the role of genetics and family history to help others be proactive about their health and knowledgeable about their family’s health history. Most women with breast cancer have no family history of the disease yet women with an immediate family member with a history of breast cancer are at an increased risk and should discuss their family history of cancer with their physician. Men and women who carry a BRCA1 or BRACA2 gene mutation are at greater risk. This is referred to as heredity cancer and accounts for 5-10 percent of breast cancer cases. Although it’s a small percentage, men can develop breast cancer and they can also carry a genetic mutation that can be passed to their children – both their daughters and their sons. BRCA1 and BRCA2 aren’t the only genes involved in breast cancer risk, there are several others as well. BRCA mutations are also linked to an increased risk of ovarian cancer, prostate and breast cancer in men, as well as melanoma and pancreatic cancers in both men and women. Genetic testing can help determine if a family has hereditary cancer. Petrucelli notes that it’s important to have a genetics professional involved in the genetic testing process. “Although only a small percent of those diagnosed with breast cancer have a genetic cause or a family link to the disease, it’s important to know your family history. Sharing your health history may help prevent breast cancer or help loved ones be proactive so they can detect cancer early when it’s most treatable. “Sharing that health knowledge is a gift to your children and future family generations.”


Innovative Health Care Magazine
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