In March of 2015, I wrote a blog post about a new and exciting FDA-approved drug for women who had ovarian cancer and also had inherited mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes. Little did I know, the excitement surrounding new treatments for women with ovarian cancer was just beginning!
These are exciting times in the growing field of genetic counseling. While prenatal and preconception and cancer-risk counseling remain our bread and butter, clearly our skills and expertise can benefit infinitely many more people. Genetic counseling is a conversation that leads to action.
When I explain my job as a genetic counselor to family members or people I talk with while traveling, they are always surprised to learn that I meet with patients only one or two times. Some patients may have annual follow-up visits with their genetic counselor and geneticist
In the spring of 2013, I met with my new OB/GYN for a routine exam, and we discussed my family health history. I’d never really thought about my genetic risk for breast cancer. I knew my maternal grandmother had had breast cancer but hers was the only case in the family.
When I have asked nurses why they became (or are interested in becoming certified), the same theme emerges - "pride in what I do." It has been fascinating to watch the emergence of the many and varied certifications now available to nurses.