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Genetic testing available for local cancer patients

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YRMC Cancer Center introduces genetic testing locally.

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY)- Perhaps the silver lining of this pandemic has been how we've adapted by using technology; one specifically being telehealth.

Yuma Regional Medical Center's (YRMC) Cancer Center created a program that gives local cancer patients access to genetic testing at home.

Previously cancer patients would have to travel to doctors outside of Yuma for such testing, but YRMC now has the resources for virtual genetic counseling and blood sampling to detect genetic risk factors for several different types of cancer.

Dr. Abhinav Chandra, oncologist and medical director at YRMC's Cancer Center, said, “One [benefit] is to know your risk factors of developing cancer and then we are able to tailor our therapy accordingly. Patients can be benefited locally and do not have to travel in the midst of their cancer journey to some other place to get these services.”

Dr. Chandra recommends genetic testing as a good option for people with a family history of a certain type of cancer.

Genetic testing is most often used for certain types of cancers: Breast, colon, and gynecological. Testing can be conducted via swabs to the cheek or through blood samples.

Locally, testing is currently only available for the Cancer Center’s current patients. Cancer Center specialists hope to expand that availability in the future.

The Cancer Center works with Myriad Genetics, a national molecular diagnostic company, to enable cancer patients in the Yuma area to receive genetic counseling and testing locally. This potentially life-saving access is especially important for Yuma residents because the nation is experiencing a shortage of genetic counselors. This association with the Cancer Center assures timely and convenient access.

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Aziza Shuler

Aziza Shuler joined KYMA in March 2019 wearing many hats including the newest anchor and producer for FOX 9, as well as a multi-media journalist for KYMA.


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