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Health Center Today, January 18, 2011

A Personal Decision - Genetic Counselors Provide Valuable Guidance for Cancer Patients

Photo of Robin Schwartz

Robin Schwartz

By Maureen McGuire

As the saying goes, information is power – especially when it comes to your health.

This was the message that inspired Sandra Naylor to make an appointment with UConn Health Center genetic counselor Robin Schwartz to understand her risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Sadly, Sandra had just lost her mother to ovarian cancer and one of her sisters had just been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Working with Schwartz, the genetic counseling created a picture of Sandra’s cancer risk. Ultimately, Sandra decided to undergo genetic testing to see if she carried one of the genetic mutations that could dramatically increase her risk of breast or ovarian cancer. When the test was positive, she decided, along with her medical team and her family, to undergo preventive surgeries. She is now fully recovered and relieved to be living without the constant fear and worry of her cancer risk.

“Our program is multidisciplinary and offers women all the information they need to make the choice that is right for them,” Schwartz added.