Interview with Genetics Counselor Nicole Salvatore: Breast Cancer, Genetics & Genomics

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Susan G. Komen New Jersey will host “Breast Cancer, Genetics & Genomics — What You Need to Know” on November 15, 2020 as part of the ongoing Breast Cancer Education Series.

The livestreamed event will be moderated by Denise L. Johnson Miller, M.D., FACS, Medical Director, Breast Surgery, Hackensack Meridian Health, Monmouth and Ocean Counties featuring a panel of experts sharing information about this important and emerging topic, including:

  • Prapti Y. Shingala, M.D., Radiologist, University Radiology
    Genetic Risk Factors — Who Should be Screened and Why?
  • Cristina Turner, LSW — Oncology Social Worker, Hackensack Meridian Jersey Shore University Medical Center
    Financial Concerns and Resources
  • David Leopold, M.D., DABFM, DABOIM — Medical Director, Hackensack Meridian Health, Integrative Health & Medicine
    Stress Management and Resiliency for the patient with Positive Genetic
  • Ruchi Bhatt, D.O. — Hematologist Oncologist, Hackensack Meridian Jersey Shore University Medical Center and Ocean Medical Center
    New Treatments Using Genomics to Build a Treatment Plan
  • Nicole Savatore — Genetics Counselor, Hackensack Meridian Jersey Shore University Medical Center and Ocean Medical Center
    Genetics & Genomics — What’s the Difference
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Panelist Nicole Salvatore, Genetics Counselor, Hackensack Meridian Jersey Shore University Medical Center and Ocean Medical Center, recently shared some information on what we can expect to learn at the presentation on November 4.

Komen NJ: Why is important for people to understand genetics and genomics? What is the difference between genomic (sometimes called somatic) testing and genetic testing?

Nicole: During the presentation, attendees will learn about the many types of genomic tests, sometimes called somatic tumor profiling tests. In recent years, genomic testing has been developed to better understand the unique genetic makeup of a person’s cancer cells. Some analyze the mutations in a tumor so that targeted therapies can be matched to the specific mutations that are present. Other tests help determine the tissue type that a cancer originated from. Still others help determine how likely you are to respond to chemotherapy, or what the chances are that a cancer will recur in the future.

Komen NJ: What questions should a patient ask if their doctor recommends genetic testing?

Nicole: For genomic testing, it may depend on the type of cancer or staging at diagnosis. Patients should discuss with their oncology team if tumor testing is right for them.

For genetic testing, there are certain personal and family history criteria that a patient must meet in order to qualify for testing including:

  • Having a direct relative diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 50
  • Having 2 relatives on the same side of the family, at any age, diagnosed with breast cancer, ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer or prostate cancer
  • If of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry
  • Patient has been diagnosed with ovarian or pancreatic cancer at any age

Breast Cancer, Genetics & Genomics — What You Need to Know is presented by Hackensack Meridian Health and sponsored by Exact Sciences. The presentation will be recorded and livestreamed and will be made available via Komen New Jersey digital platforms. Attendees will have an opportunity to submit questions for the panel ahead of the event.

To learn more and RSVP for more additional information, click here.

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