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Genetically Speaking Blog

Prostate Cancer: Do I need genetic testing?

by Joy Larsen Haidle, MS, LGC

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Joy Larsen Haidle, MS, LGC, is a past-president of the National Society of Genetic Counselors and a genetic counselor at the North Memorial Health Cancer Center in Minneapolis.


When Al Roker announced his prostate cancer diagnosis, he shared his desire to use his platform to educate others, presenting an ideal time to continue the conversation.  Prostate cancer is common for men--1 in 9 will develop prostate cancer over their lifetime.  However, those odds increase to roughly 1 in 7 for African American men. Many prostate cancers are slow growing and lead to a good prognosis, however, some prostate cancers are more aggressive and finding those cancers early becomes important to help those men do well too.

Ovarian Cancer: Awareness means silent no more

by Joy Larsen Haidle, MS, LGC

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Ovarian cancer can be a silent killer. Most women are diagnosed with this cancer at later stages, as the symptoms are often silent or not recognized as indications of cancer in earlier stages in the midst of busy lives.  As a genetic counselor, I frequently meet with women diagnosed with ovarian cancer and their family members to discuss the odds that the disease could be inherited, and I address their concerns and questions about cancer risk.  Below are some of the common questions I hear that may be  relevant to you or someone you know.

Steps Individuals Can Take to Understand Cancer Risk

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This Breast Cancer Awareness Month, NSGC and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) want to help individuals learn the steps they can take to understand their risk for health conditions, including breast and ovarian cancer. In a new episode of NSGC’s Genetic Counselors and You consumer podcast series, NSGC Cancer Expert Joy Larsen Haidle and family physician, Sarah Coles, MD, discuss how genetic testing and counseling is part of understanding genetic risk. Larsen Haidle is a genetic counselor at North Memorial Health Cancer Center in Robbinsdale, Minn. and Coles is a family physician from Phoenix, Ariz.