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Genetics

Genetics education and risk assessment is open and accepting referrals.

Services Provided:

  • Pre-testing education
  • Genetic testing
  • Post-test education
  • Personalized cancer prevention care plan
  • Follow-up written summary of the genetics education session to referring physician/provider

Genetics education sessions are provided by a licensed genetics educator via tele-health or in-person exclusively through Memorial Medical Group Genetics. Mary Nordberg, PhD is a Professor of Medicine at LSU Health in Shreveport and the Genetics Educator at Willis Knighton Health System Cancer Center. She earned her PhD in Molecular Genetics and Cytogenetics from UTMB Galveston, and completed postdoctoral fellowships in Molecular Tumor Genetics at LSU Shreveport and in Clinical Genetics at the University of Utah. She has served on the faculty of LSU Health in Shreveport since 1999, and she served as the Director of Molecular Diagnostics for Delta Pathology from 2011-2018. She is a contributor to numerous books and peer-reviewed journal articles. In addition, she serves on committees for various professional organizations nationwide. She holds in-person genetics clinics up to 3 days per month at Memorial Medical Group Genetics.

Continuity of care by Memorial Medical Group Genetics nurse navigator ensures the referring care team is kept aware of recommendations made by the genetics clinic. Ellen Richardson, BSN, RN, OCN, is the genetics nurse navigator and the point of contact for patients and referring physicians to the Memorial Medical Group Genetics. She assists with referrals, pre-test education, genetic test ordering, test completion and facilitation of genetics education via tele-health as needed, as well as in-person appointments with Dr. Nordberg.

Genetic testing is used to identify or rule out a specific genetic or chromosomal condition. In many cases, genetic testing is used to confirm a diagnosis when a particular condition is suspected based on physical signs and symptoms or family history. The results of this testing can influence a patient’s choices about health care or the management or treatment of a disorder.

Obstetrics & Women’s Health

Carrier testing is used to identify people who carry one copy of a gene mutation that, when present in two copies, causes a genetic disorder. This type of testing is offered to individuals who have a family history of a genetic disorder or to people in certain ethnic groups with an increased risk of specific genetic conditions. If both parents are tested, the test can provide information about a couple’s risk of having a child with a genetic condition. Examples of conditions tested with carrier testing include cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease and spinal muscular atrophy. Patients requiring this service may be referred to Memorial Medical Group Genetics on a case-by-case basis.

Primary Care, Women’s Health, Gastroenterology & Medical Oncology

Genetic testing is available for healthy individuals, some cancer patients and certain family members of cancer patients to determine if there is an increased risk or predisposition to developing cancer, when there is suspicion that cancer may run in the family. Genetic testing for cancer genes can provide information about a person’s risk of developing certain cancers, and a personalized care plan can be developed with earlier screening in hopes of preventing cancer. To meet this need for inherited cancer risk screening, Memorial Medical Group Genetics will provide intake screening questionnaires using up-to-date inclusion criteria in your clinic to determine which of your patients may benefit from genetic testing. When a patient’s questionnaire is positive, you may initiate a referral to the Genetics Clinic.

Learn More about Your Breast Cancer Risks

Genetic and molecular tests have the potential to not only provide patients with personalized diagnostic information, but also allow for specifically tailored treatment plans, thus limiting resistance and toxicity. They also supply prognostic information about cancer in its early stages, thereby determining whether aggressive, early management is necessary.

  • BRCA: There are several genes linked to an increased risk of breast cancer, but two of the most common are breast cancer genes 1 and 2 (BRCA1 and BRCA2). A mutation in either of these genes gives an increased risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Blood tests (genetic tests) check for known mutations in these genes.
  • Mammoprint: This test uses information about 70 genes to predict the risk of the cancer coming back for early-stage, low-risk breast cancer.
  • Oncotype: This test evaluates 16 cancer-related genes and five reference genes to produce a number called the Recurrence Score. This score estimates the risk of recurrence (return of the cancer in a place other than the breast) within 10 years after diagnosis for women with stage I or stage II, node-negative, ER-positive breast cancer treated with hormonal therapy alone. It is mainly used to help make decisions about whether chemotherapy should be added to a person’s treatment.
  • ER/PR: Breast cancer cells depend on the hormones estrogen and/or progesterone to grow. The presence of these receptors helps determine both the risk of recurrence (cancer coming back after treatment) and the type of treatment most likely to prevent recurrence. Generally, hormonal therapy works well for ER-positive or PR-positive tumors, but chemotherapy is also used in specific situations. About 75% to 80% of breast cancers have estrogen and/or progesterone receptors.
  • Her2: About 20% to 25% of breast cancers have more copies of a gene called the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) than normal. Because this gene makes a protein that fuels tumor cell growth, HER2-positive cancers usually grow more quickly. The tumor’s HER2 status also helps determine whether a certain type of drug might help treat the cancer.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States, accounting for nearly 30% of all newly diagnosed cases.

  • Every 2 minutes, a new case of breast cancer is diagnosed in the U.S.
  • In 2020, it is expected that more than 276,000 cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed.
  • An estimated 42,000 women will die of breast cancer in 2020.
  • There are more than 6 million breast cancer survivors worldwide, 3.8 million of those are in the U.S.
  • Approximately 5-10% of breast cancers can be linked to known genetic mutations inherited from one’s mother or father.
  • Improvements in early detection and screening have led to a 40% decline in breast cancer deaths in the U.S.

What is a risk assessment?
A risk assessment is a screening tool that uses a series of questions allowing healthcare teams to estimate a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer in her lifetime.

How can I get my risk assessment?
Complete a risk assessment here on our website. Upon completion, your score will be calculated and results will be confidentially sent to our nurse navigator. You will then be contacted with the results. If you are found to be high risk, an appointment can be scheduled in the High Risk Breast Clinic at Memorial Hospital.

Complete the online high risk breast assessment here

2770 3rd Avenue
Suite 120
Lake Charles, LA
337.494.4868
For more information, please email erichardson@lcmh.com