By Larry Backus
Our purpose in these multi-year series of articles is to inform and implore. We want to inform you of the most recent news in the rapidly increasing and vast accumulation of knowledge about cancer. We also want to implore you to donate to our annual Fairfield Glade NATC campaign to help increase this knowledge and care available for patients. Genetic testing was selected as a topic this year as it has not previously been addressed in this series.
On any topic about cancer, your physician and the cancer.org website are the best sources of information. The cancer.org site has 15 pages of information about genetic testing under titles such as "Genes, mutations, and cancer risk;" "What is genetic testing?" "Who should have genetic testing?" "What happens during genetic testing?" "Who pays for genetic testing?" "What happens during genetic testing?" "What if genetic testing shows an increased cancer risk?" "How else might genetic information be used?" and "What is the future of genetic testing?" The site includes references and a list of other sources to learn more about the subject.
If you have a known family history of certain diseases or cancer, your doctor may recommend genetic testing; however, only you can decide to have such testing. Genetic testing varies in expense based on the type of testing required. In some instances, the testing is very expensive and may not be covered by your health insurance. Whether you have some insurance coverage or not, you will need to have a reasonably accurate estimate of the total cost of genetic testing before making a decision to proceed. Learn more about genetic testing and other questions you may have about cancer at cancer.org.
The informing part is complete until next week, now for the imploring. The 2014 NATC campaign will peak the week of April 13 – 19. Therefore, we implore you to make your donation to fight the war on cancer when you receive our mailed request during the first week of April. There will be a BLUE envelope to be returned with your annual donation to the ACS. Please note that our BLUE envelope will only be received the first week of April; we do have copycat blue envelope mailers. It will be the only mailed request from the Fairfield Glade Committee and the only opportunity to have your donation accredited to Fairfield Glade by the ACS. If, by chance, you do not receive this letter the first week of April, our volunteers will be available at the Village Green Mall April 14 – 19, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Your support does make a difference, together we are winning the war on cancer!