If there was a test that could give you more insight into your breast cancer risk, would you take it? Or would having that information add too much worry to your life? Genetic testing for breast cancer can offer very important information about your genetic makeup and its impact on your risk for developing breast cancer – as well as your family’s risk for developing breast and other cancers. However, genetic testing is not for everyone. To find out if it is for you, let's take a look at what genetic testing means, who should get tested, the pros and cons, and how to get started.
May 7, 2021
May 6, 2021
Prostate cancer is the most common [non-skin] cancer in men. Therefore, it’s important to when to some facts about prostate cancer screenings, and make sure you, or the males in your life, are getting screened for prostate cancer in a timely manner.
Early Detection of Prostate Cancer Changes Outcomes for Patients!
Many perfectly healthy men are screened for prostate cancer as part of their regular health care routine. Doctors sometimes recommend testing simply because of age or family history. Other times, patients have some symptoms, and their doctor may suggest a prostate cancer screening as the first step to understanding the problem.
April 29, 2021
Although the terms “genetic” and “genomic” are often used interchangeably, they are actually very different. Learning more about the differences between them can help clear up some of the confusion we often see related to hereditary genes linked to developing cancer.
Genetics usually refers to the study of specific, individual genes and whether they are passed from one generation to the next. Cancer researchers have studied hereditary gene mutations (changes) that can play a role in the development of cancer.
Dr. Alexander is a medical oncologist/hematologist.
Two physicians shaped the course of Dr. Burton Alexander’s medical career, one starting at age 12 and the other when he was a first-year medical student. Their advice, boiled down to its most basic form: always be there for your patients. Always.
So, as a medical oncologist/hematologist, Dr. Alexander cares for patients with a wide variety of cancers and blood disorders at Virginia Oncology Associates (VOA) – including some of the most complex and rare conditions in the region – he answers calls and emails 24/7 on his cell phone.
February 26, 2021
Working with cancer patients is a gift. An honor. A challenge, of course, but one that brings Andrea Edwards great joy.
“There are hard days, but a lot of really good days, too,” says Edwards, a Physician Assistant (PA) and Advanced Practice Provider (APP) Supervisor at Virginia Oncology Associates. “My patients know that I’m beside them for every step of their journey. I’ve learned so much from them and am continuously humbled by their strength, perseverance and resiliency.”
Edwards is driven not only to help patients live their best, fullest lives but to pave the way for APP education, growth and development.
February 24, 2021
By Melissa M. Stewart
If you are a woman who believes doing regular self-exams will lower your breast cancer risk, think again. In fact, experts no longer advocate checking for lumps on your own.
Dr. Sonia Hepburn, a Hematology-Oncology specialist with Virginia Oncology Associates, says that both the American Cancer Society and the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force now endorse clinical exams only.
November 12, 2020
By Cristina S. Alencar, MD, Virginia Oncology Associates
Part 1 of the Series: How to be proactive with your health
Women who know their breasts are more likely to catch changes that could indicate cancer.
Every breast is unique, including its textures and density. Genetic factors and lifestyle choices can directly affect breast health. A clinical breast exam (CBE) done by your healthcare professional at least once a year, and monthly breast self-exams can uncover problems or detect breast cancer at an early, treatable stage.
July 9, 2020
Even though the medical field has made tremendous progress, there is still much to discover about cancer. However, we do know that there are several biological and environmental factors that can increase a person’s risk of getting the disease.
June 21, 2020
If you’ve received a prostate cancer diagnosis, the first thing your doctor may discuss with you is the Gleason Score. This is used to describe your stage of prostate cancer. Here we will review prostate cancer, the purpose of the Gleason Score, how it is calculated, and why it is so important.
Today, more and more people are becoming proactive about their health. And one major way they’re doing so is through genetic testing. According to the American Medical Association (AMA), there are “thousands of genetic tests available to aid physicians in the diagnosis and therapy of many diseases.” And that’s not even counting the tests that can be taken without the assistance of a physician. While taking appropriate measures to get a better handle on your health— and potentially the health of your relatives— is a good thing, it’s highly important to understand that not all genetic tests are created equal and they don’t all test for the same things. In fact, the two major types of available genetic tests have enough differences worth noting before making any final decisions.