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New Clinic Offers Genetic Testing For Certain Cancers

For some, despite regular screenings and monthly self exams breast cancer can’t be avoided.

It’s in their genes.

A new clinic at Texas Tech is offering coping skills to those who may be susceptible to the deadly disease.

Soledad Tellez, 54, has had to battle both ovarian and breast cancer.

While her sister, “She’s already had both breasts removed,” said Tellez, a mother of four.

Seventy percent of all cancer is sporadic, meaning it’s not known where it comes from.

But there’s a small percentage of some cancers that’s genetic.

“I really didn’t think it ran in the family, ” said Tellez, who says she’s now concerned about her children.

“My youngest one is pretty worried about it, she’s already been to her doctor and told him about it, ” said Tellez.

She has a high risk family which makes them prime candidates for a new genetic cancer clinic at Texas Tech.

“By interviewing them, taking a good family history than we figure out a risk for that particular cancer or other cancers in their family,” said Dr. Salvador Saldivar, Assistant Professor of OB/GYN.

While the testing’s been offered for years now, it was never with counseling.

“Patients were just being told, ‘OK, you’re negative, you’re positive and that’s it,'” said nurse practitioner Kayla Castaneda.

After the simple blood test, the clinic also offers increased screenings.

It lets you know if you’re at risk for developing other types of cancers or the same one in the future.

It’s a chance to catch it before it becomes more advanced.

“I guess its better to know, ” said Tellez, who admits while scary, the information has changed her life.

“Eating the right kinds of food, keeping busy, ” she said.

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