WEEI>On Demand>>D&C - Dr. Judy Garber, director, Center for Cancer Genetics and Prevention, Dana-Farber and a medical oncologist for breast cancer, Susan F. Smith Center for Women's Cancers at Dana-Farber

D&C - Dr. Judy Garber, director, Center for Cancer Genetics and Prevention, Dana-Farber and a medical oncologist for breast cancer, Susan F. Smith Center for Women's Cancers at Dana-Farber

Aug 30, 2016|

Dr. Garber heads the effort at Dana-Farber to determine how we can prevent cancers from occurring in the first place. She says: "A visit to the Cancer Genetics and Prevention Clinic usually includes time with both a physician and a genetic counselor, both of whom have expertise in all forms of inherited cancer syndromes. We educate patients about cancer risk and its implications for them and their family members. Working with referring physicians, we design individualized programs to monitor for the earliest signs of cancer — diagnosing if it occurs, and, in many cases, preventing it from arising." The Dana-Farber Cancer Genetics and Prevention Program offers advanced genetic tests to determine whether individuals are at risk for inherited forms of cancer. Dr. Garber talks about the increase in testing for genes like BRCA1 & 2, which can reveal a genetic predisposition to breast and ovarian cancer. Dr. Garber explains the "Angelina Jolie effect" and the increase in preventative surgeries among women who are at a higher risk for developing breast or ovarian cancer due to a family history or if they a specific gene mutation.

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Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

We're going to use a word with our next guest that we have not used in the first day in two hours of our involvement here. India radio on doctor Judy Garber the director bras at the director of the center for cancer genetics and here's that word. Prevention at Dana Farber and medical oncologist. She joins us here broadcast bite prevention is something we haven't discussed about we talk about treatment. We talk about research we talk about discoveries we talk about drugs. But you're the prevention doctor doctor yes I'm telling what that's all out. Well. We are thrilled to be able to make so much progress treating cancer and having more survivors. But we would really like to prevent it altogether and at Dana Farber we have researched doing just that can cancer be prevented. Of course cancer can be prevented so we've all known that if we can get people to give up smoking. We could prevent a huge number of cancers not only in the United States but in the world and we're about to hear from someone. With head and neck cancer knows that. We can prevent viral cancers we can prevent colon cancer if people have colonoscopy in those little polyps are taken down and cervix cancer. We can prevent melanoma we heard about by watching sun exposure mean these are basic things that we've known for a long time we have to help people to do them. And of course we have fancy ways to do it now telling the fancy ways well. We can find patients who are act or people they're not really patients get who are at highest risk because they haven't genetic change that. Makes him note that we can sometimes we have to use sort of crude things like surgery to remove organs that are at highest risk for cancer but we have new. Medications. I call them drugs but medications that are safe. Because they're for healthy people to keep them that way that can help prevent colon cancer breast cancer we're working on things for ovary cancer. We are as exciting as treatments every day. We talked about I I talked with us last year's when somebody like Andrew usually comes that was something like that shouldn't just skyrocket the the awareness right. Well it does and in that case it even keeps it up for some reason people really connects don't yet. But you know we know now and at 10% of all people with cancer got your cancer because of the genetic risk not everybody has a family history. Some of them don't and now we can test and find those people early helped their families avoid their fate that's an important thing. Don't say I would say we as a society effectively decrease smoking them and dramatically just in in my lifetime your lifetime. At least in the states I don't know button in Asia and South America but if that's first and let's eliminate smoke what's second. Obesity now we have to take on an exercise and diet. And reduce the cancers associated with them you know this is another huge epidemic problem and how do you do that. Bow bit this is tough this is tough you know this is this for heart disease to infer. Other diseases but changing behavior is a tough thing. I think these constant messages motivating people to realize that they want to and that they can't. And then providing strategies we have a whole center led by doctor league about that works on exercise. We have ways to help people work on diet have to believe this is possible it is possible. We just have to change the culture make them. Take that they have all the way. Doctor Garber if if you run into a person a patient who has no genetic predisposition for cancer and this person also is not a smoker. And not a drinker and not obese and doesn't quell the sun and they get cancer would you call that person unlucky. Unless unlucky. Unlucky but you know we live in a complicated world we know there are things that we have not identified as causing cancer and we noticed some cancer just happens because. Our bodies are constantly replacing their cells and they're gonna make mistakes and even though we have amazing systems of our own to. Prevent those mistakes every so often happen and we know that his cancer is a very common disease and we don't know the cause all the time. Part of your prevention month right suppose it's increased testing for genes like freckle one and two Camille Little bit about that. So weak neck you know in the old days twenty years ago when we first started we could test one gene at a time. Now we have technologies we can routinely test 3040 genes at a time and we can also test. All 20000 genes at a time and we're doing that trying to find genes that increase cancer risk so we can target those genes before cancer happen. Very good to see you thanks for taking time and visiting this morning and imparting your knowledge and perhaps prevention is the key says doctor Garber director at the center for cancer genetics and prevention at the Dana Farber. More than 900 out.

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