BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — Boca Regional Hospital may be able to answer the question that you may — or may not — want an answer to: “Am I destined for cancer?”
Thanks to a generous gift from the Morgan Pressel Foundation, Boca Raton Regional Hospital’s Eugene M. & Christine E. Lynn Cancer Institute has created the Morgan Pressel Center for Cancer Genetics, a program designed to ascertain an individual’s risk for developing certain cancers that have strong hereditary links.
“With the establishment of the Center, I have the opportunity to help raise awareness for families who may be predisposed to an inherited cancer,” said Morgan, the LPGA star who lost her mother to breast cancer. “With the early assessment and preventive strategies that the Center provides, we can give those at high risk the knowledge and choices they need to stay healthy.”
Current medical research has shown that while many cancers have multiple risk factors, there are hereditary malignancies that result from genetic mutations. These hereditary forms are most often recognized by a cancer diagnosis at a young age, above average family history of cancer and specific combinations of cancers in a family tree or certain ancestry groups.
“Every family that faces cancer wonders how it will affect their children, brothers, sisters and future generations,” said Louise Morrell, M.D., Medical Director of the Lynn Cancer Institute and member of the Center’s genetics assessment team. “With advances in hereditary cancer genetics, combined with the expertise we have assembled at the Pressel Center, it will be possible to answer that question and to even change the risk for a growing number of cancer diagnoses.”
According to Dr. Morrell, patients with certain indicators or histories should consider genetic testing and evaluation. These include: multiple breast cancers in a family, diagnosis under age 50 or being of Eastern European Jewish ancestry (Ashkenazi), personal history of ovarian cancer, colon or uterine cancer under age 50, male breast cancer, greater than 10 colon polyps, increased pancreatic cancer in the same family and multiple family members with melanoma, especially under age 50.
Genetic testing and counseling at the Center consists of certain blood tests, a detailed review of family history extending at least two to three generations and a risk assessment and surveillance plan should a specific genetic makeup be determined.
“We have always been deeply indebted to Morgan, her Foundation, and the participants in the Morgan & Friends Golf Tournament at St. Andrews Country Club for the tremendous support they have generated in the fight against breast cancer,” said Jan Savarick, President of the Boca Raton Regional Hospital Foundation. “Three years ago, their efforts led to the purchase and operation of the Kathryn Krickstein Pressel Mammovan, which continues to make high quality mammograms accessible to thousands of women throughout the region.
“With this latest initiative, Morgan has broadened her advocacy in a very meaningful and material way. We, as well as the patients we serve, are most grateful,” Savarick said.