Karen became a genetic counselor because it gave her the opportunity to merge her background in molecular biology with direct patient care. Applying that knowledge to the field of cancer genetic counseling allows her to utilize the latest research in providing direct benefits to patients.
"Genetic counseling can provide patients and their families with a personalized assessment of their breast cancer risk as well as individualized recommendations for screening and prevention," she says. "That allows them to better manage their health and reduce their risk of developing cancer."
According to Karen, understanding their cancer risks allows women to be more aware of increased cancer surveillance, choose to take medicines that prevent cancer or decide to undergo risk-reducing surgeries. She remembers one young woman in particular who viewed cancer as a chronic condition like diabetes or high blood pressure. "She would have to take care of it every day of her life," she says. "It was just a part of who she is, and what she had to do."
Women of Breast Health