New software will help predict patients’ risk of cancer
In the fight against cancer, genes are key, and a patient’s family history can be an important indicator of their risk of developing the disease later in life.
Progressive Women’s Healthcare started their Cancer Prevention Program in July of 2013 to help patients predict and lower their risk of hereditary cancers. They recently partnered with the software company, CancerIQ, to take their program one step further.
CancerIQ is a cancer risk assessment and productivity software that makes it easy for providers to identify patients at risk of hereditary cancer and navigate them to preventative services. Progressive Women’s Healthcare is the FIRST healthcare provider in the Dayton area to offer cutting-edge cancer prevention services and is only one of ten practices in the country to be awarded this opportunity.
Typically, assessing a patient’s cancer risk is time-consuming and filled with stacks of paperwork and complex cancer risk models. Now, patients will complete a short and easy CancerIQ survey on a tablet in the waiting room. Once a patient completes the survey, the provider will immediately know if they are at an elevated risk for hereditary cancers and qualify for services like genetic testing or increased screenings.
By using CancerIQ’s screening survey and software, the providers at Progressive Women’s Healthcare can help patients catch cancer early or even prevent cancer altogether.
Our cancer prevention program is focused on the prevention and early detection of hereditary and familial cancers. The first aspect of our program screens and evaluates patients who may have an elevated risk for developing one of eight types of hereditary and familiar cancers, including breast, ovarian, colon, uterine, pancreatic, gastric, melanoma and prostate cancer. Currently there are 28 genes that have been identified for these eight cancers—they set the background for our genetic testing program. We have partnered with Myriad Labs to bring the Myrisk test to our patients.
The second aspect of our program identifies patients who may be at high risk for developing breast cancer. The diagnosis of breast cancer in early stages is associated with better clinical and survival outcomes. Using our cancer risk assessment tool helps us identify whether a patient has an elevated lifetime risk for developing breast cancer, as well as a five-year increased risk. Once patients are identified as high risk, we can enter them into a high-risk screening program for cancer prevention, as well as close surveillance for earlier detection using precision medicine with DNA sequencing, high-tech diagnostic tests and individually targeted therapies. We have teamed up with Cancer IQ to bring this progressive risk assessment to our patients.
We also use selective estrogen regulating modulators (SERMS) in our practice for appropriate patients, which work by blocking the estrogen in breast cells. Women taking SERMS reduce their risk for developing breast cancer by 41 – 79%.