STAT_Logo Home delivery for everything from fresh produce to custom-selected clothing has become a way of life for many Americans. While most home-delivery conveniences are generally changing our lives for the better — giving us more time and choices — at-home genetics kits that reveal information about the risk of developing certain cancers represent a risky step in ...

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The approval by the Food and Drug Administration of 23andMe’s BRCA test is bound to create a discussion about the merits and pitfalls of direct to consumer genetic testing for cancer risk. It is also going to add fuel to a growing fire about how we as a nation assess genetic risks for cancer, and whether society is prepared for what is inevitably going to become a ...

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Technological advancement often outpaces society’s ability to understand how to use new advances. Direct-to-consumer genetic testing (DTC-GT) is one such technology whose true power far exceeds our collective mental bandwidth to comprehend. Home testing kits have come into mainstream culture over a short period of time. In 2010, the direct to consumer testing market was valued at $15 million. It grew almost nine times to $130 million in just five years ...

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Born in 1920, Henrietta Lacks lived in Virginia and Maryland, worked as a tobacco farmer, and mothered five children.  At age 31, her life was unfortunately cut short by cervical cancer.  Since her death, she has helped catalyze numerous biomedical discoveries. Upon treatment at Johns Hopkins, Henrietta’s physician obtained a tumor sample.  To his amazement, her cells survived and divided in a petri dish.  Today, her cells are still used in ...

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With the attempts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, it is a good time to educate our leaders on an opportunity to significantly reduce the incidence of the most expensive and common preventable, pre-existing condition: What your mother did or didn’t eat when she was pregnant with you. Yes, it is a pre-existing condition that determines how you die. Confused? Let me give you a little scientific context. Recently I was ...

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We cannot let the anecdote rule over us.   We don’t make sound policy if we are swayed by isolated emotional vignettes.  Of course, a vignette describes a living, breathing human being, but we must consider the greater good, the overall context and the risk of letting our hearts triumph over our heads when making general policy.  Consider these examples. If an expensive drug treatment program keeps five addicts clean for six ...

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A report in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) shows that too few women with recently diagnosed breast cancer and at high risk of a BRCA genetic mutation received appropriate genetic counseling. And that testing for the mutation is a missed opportunity not only to improve treatment for these patients but also to prevent some breast,
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We are truly living in a remarkable era of biotechnological progress. Emerging nanotechnologies and immunotherapies offer the possibility of the targeted destruction of cancerous cells. 3-D printing of living cells is on the horizon, engendering the hope of a future with fully printed organs. And simultaneous advances in neuroscience and bioengineering have given rise to promising research and development of “electrocueticals” (neuromodulatory devices that may alleviate the symptoms ...

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The month of September has been Women In Medicine Month (according to the AMA) since 1989. Statistics are always telling:

  • Currently 65 percent of practicing physicians are men, and 35 percent women.

The College of American Pathologists shares the story of a Lisa Aaronson, and role of genetic testing in her pregnancy.

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