Are you curious about the role of genetic testing in identifying your risk for hereditary GI cancers, including colorectal cancer? This episode features world renowned genetic counselor, Heather Hampel, who shares her expertise on hereditary cancer syndromes and how early detection may save your life. Then, we talk with 3 time Lynch syndrome cancer survivor and patient advocate, Dave Dubin, who is living proof of the impact that genetic testing can have on your life as well as the lives of your family members. We’ll learn why knowing your risk early can provide you, your family members and your healthcare providers with the vital information needed to manage this risk and lookout for potentially cancerous activity, specifically in the colon.
Heather Hampel, M.S., CGC is a Clinical Professor and Associate Director of the Division of Clinical Cancer Genomics at City of Hope National Medical Center. Her research focuses on Lynch syndrome and universal tumor screening for Lynch syndrome. She has >160 publications on the prevalence of Lynch syndrome among colorectal and endometrial cancer patients, the best testing protocols, cost-effectiveness, and referral guidelines for cancer genetics. She was on the Board of Directors for the American Board of Genetic Counseling from 2006-2011, serving as President in 2009 and 2010. She has been on the Steering Committee of the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable since 2016. She was on the Council of the Collaborative Group of the Americas on Inherited Colorectal Cancer from 2016-2019, serving as president in 2017-2018.
In 1997 at age 29, David Dubin was surprised to learn of his colon cancer diagnosis. Although his grandfather and father both had colon cancer, he didn’t associate his bleeding and cramping to symptoms of the disease. Neither did his primary care physician who neglected to recommend a colonoscopy, despite his family history. Not until several months later when he finally saw a specialist did David learn he had colon cancer.
It wasn’t until 2007 and a second colon cancer diagnosis that David had genetic tested and found out he has Lynch syndrome. David Dubin is now a three-time cancer survivor and patient with Lynch Syndrome, a genetic mutation that predisposes individuals to cancer. David is a fierce advocate and public speaker for awareness, screening and genetic testing. As a founder of AliveAndKickn, a patient-centered nonprofit organization dedicated to education, advocacy, and research of Lynch Syndrome, David is committed to actively helping patients and researchers combat this disease.
Along with his wife Robin, David has developed AliveAndKickn to focus on providing resources for Lynch syndrome patients and developing innovative tools like The HEROIC Registry to further research. They continue to work towards expanding outreach and education about Lynch syndrome in the clinical communities and to the general public. AliveAndKickn’s mission is to improve the lives of individuals and families affected by Lynch Syndrome and associated cancers through research, education, and screening.
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