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Charis Eng, MD, PhD

Charis Eng, MD, PhD is founding chairwoman of the Genomic Medicine Institute and founding director of its Center for Personalized Genetic Healthcare. Dr. Eng is a global leader in cancer genetics and cancer genomic medicine.

BRCA1 and Ovarian Cancer: Why Women Choose Preventive Surgery

For a woman, the decision to have your ovaries and fallopian tubes removed does not come easily. But if you face an alarmingly high genetic risk of ovarian cancer, preventive surgery may be the right choice. Angelina Jolie’s surgery in March shined a national spotlight on this issue. She previously brought attention to preventive mastectomy … Read More

Should All Women Be Screened for BRCA1 and BRCA2?

Who should be tested — and when? These are the big questions people ask when it comes to genetic screening, especially for commonly known mutations. It’s safe to say more people know about BRCA1 and BRCA2 than the average mutations. High-profile cases such as Angelina Jolie’s have brought attention to them. The actress recently announced … Read More

Can You Get Tested for Colon Cancer at Home?

Doctors stress the importance of colon cancer screening for a reason. Early detection makes a huge difference. When doctors detect the disease in early stages, five-year survival rates are as high as 70 to 97 percent. Sadly, far too many patients ignore the call for regular colonoscopies after age 50, despite the clear value of … Read More

How Your Family Affects Your Heart Health

When it comes to different types of heart disease, there are plenty of factors you can’t control — including aging and your family history. But even if you can’t turn back time, knowing about genetic issues makes a difference in how you manage, monitor and treat disease. If you dig into your family history, you’ll … Read More

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Q&A: The Future of Genome Sequencing for Newborns

Your genes tell a story of health and disease risk — and they tell that story from the day you are born. With that in mind, interest in genomic sequencing for newborns is rising. In 2013, the National Institutes of Health awarded $25 million to four major research projects examining the practice. More recently, one … Read More

What You Should Know About PALB2 and Breast Cancer Risk

When a genetic mutation makes headlines, the first thing patients ask is, “Should I be tested for it?” PALB2 is no exception. Recently, researchers made news by connecting mutations in this gene to an increased risk for breast cancer. It’s important research. It expands the list of genes that we know affect breast cancer. But … Read More

What You Can Learn From Basketball Star Isaiah Austin

When basketball star Isaiah Austin stood in front of the crowd at June’s NBA draft, the moment had special meaning for people with genetic conditions. Sadly, the 20-year-old Austin was a ceremonial draft pick. The college standout from Baylor saw his life change during a pre-draft physical. That physical led to a diagnosis of Marfan … Read More

Do Your Genes Increase Your Risk of Getting Cancer Twice?

If you knew you had an 85 percent lifetime risk of breast cancer — a risk six and a half times higher than for most women — would you be more vigilant? If you knew your risk of developing a second cancer was eight times higher than most people’s, would you talk to your doctor … Read More

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Are These 3 Fears Scaring You Away from Genetic Medicine?

Your genes contain powerful information. To the trained eye, they hold the keys to your future health and your risk of disease. But the power of genetics also comes with anxiety, especially when it comes to legal and insurance questions. Patients want to know what genetic information means, who can use it and — frankly … Read More

The Epigenetics of Cholesterol, Smoking and Cancer

Our DNA is like an encyclopedia containing multiple volumes of genes. Certain genes are responsible for finding errors in these volumes and fixing them. When genes mutate, errors build up, and disease often follows. But what happens when the light we use to read the encyclopedia goes out? We can’t read in the dark. That’s … Read More