From Special Reports

Combining the latest in telemedicine with rapidly expanding knowledge about cancer risk, Piedmont Cancer Genetics has launched a telegenetics program for patients at high risk for breast cancer.

One-in-8 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society. However, some women have a higher than average risk based on their family history, genetics or personal medical history, and early detection can dramatically improve survival rates by diagnosing cancers when they are most treatable.

“A risk factor is anything that affects your chance of getting a disease, such as breast cancer,” Kelly Teed, board-certified genetic counselor at Piedmont Newnan, said. “Some risk factors for breast cancer cannot be changed, such as having a family history for breast cancer.”

The Piedmont High Risk Breast Cancer Program provides a detailed breast cancer risk assessment through evaluation and examination and develops an early detection plan based on the patient’s risk.

“Some risk factors, such as gene mutations passed from a parent, may result in large increases in breast cancer risk, so a patient may need a more comprehensive detection plan,” Teed said. “Other risk factors, such as age or hormone exposure, may only cause modest changes in risk, and therefore may only cause minimal adjustments in a patient’s current detection plan.”

The program was made possible by a donation from Holland Ware and Faye Hendrix-Ware of Hogansville and employs four genetic counselors who will offer virtual visits via Piedmont’s telemedicine services while those counselors continue in-person visits. As the only certified member of MD Anderson Cancer Network® in Georgia, Piedmont is committed to transforming healthcare.

“By incorporating telemedicine capabilities, we are now able to expand our high-quality, personalized care to even more patients, close to home,” said Linda Van der Merwe, Piedmont’s Executive Director of Clinical Oncology Services.

For more information, or to schedule a consultation, visit piedmont.org or call 678.673.3094.