From OHC, Specialists in the Treatment of Adult Cancers and Blood Disorders

March 24, 2021

According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women. A woman is more at risk of developing breast and/or ovarian cancer in her lifetime if she inherits certain gene mutations (changes).

Still, existing data suggests significant non-compliance in genetic screening and testing for breast cancer patients by their healthcare provider. Among the 300,000 patients diagnosed annually, approximately one-third (99,000) are eligible for testing. It is estimated that only one-third (32,670) of these patients are tested. Ideally, all eligible patients should be tested.

OHC continues to lead the way in the fight against breast cancer. We recently completed a two-year grant, supported by Pfizer and the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC), to study the integration of genetic breast cancer testing guidelines for new patients.

Throughout 2019 and 2020, OHC integrated National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines for genetic breast cancer testing into all new breast and/or metastatic breast cancer patient visits. The goal was to enhance existing processes to better capture breast cancer patients for screening and testing referral. During this time, OHC providers screened nearly 100% of identified patients and over half met testing criteria. Of those meeting this criterion, 71% were tested, which is well above the national testing average of fewer than 10%.

“To give patients the best chance of beating their cancer, it is important to arm them with genetic screening information so that they can make informed decisions about their treatment options and take steps towards reducing cancer risk,” said Andy Guinigundo, MSN, APRN, an OHC advanced practice provider and Lead Cancer Genetic Specialist. “Patients can share information with their family members who might want to seek genetic counseling.”

Over the two-year grant period, OHC’s genetic program has grown significantly, not only in breast cancer genetic testing, but also in other diagnoses, demonstrating that with the personalized infrastructure in place this method could be used for other cancer populations. Moreover, OHC’s process ensured nearly 100% compliance with NCCN guidelines for genetic testing in breast cancer patients. “OHC hopes that we can inspire cancer practices across the country to implement these process improvements and increase genetic testing access and referrals,” said Mark E. Johns, MD, OHC medical oncologist and hematologist.

OHC continues to offer cancer patients hope for the future by ensuring they receive a leading-edge personalized treatment plan for their individual cancer. Learn more about the benefits of genetic testing at Contact us for a second opinion or call 1-888-649-4800 to schedule an appointment with an OHC provider.

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