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Bahar's Story

Bahar was a wonderful mother, an intelligent medical doctor, and a warm-hearted human. She neither had a family history of cancer nor diabetes. Bahar was an active woman with a healthy diet and did not smoke or drink alcohol. Yet, at 66 years old, she was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

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Operation Room

On May 17th, Bahar's youngest daughter, Nilou, took her to the emergency due to chest pain and persistent coughs. After x-rays and CT scans, Bahar was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer metastasizing to the lungs. "This can't be true. It must be a fungi infection or simply a mistake," would run into thoughts of her whole family. 

Call it coincidence or miracle, Nilou was already in the pancreatic cancer research team at the University of British Columbia with a great interest in genetic counselling. Nilou was very well aware of the benefits of genetic testing and genetic counselling to patients, including oncology families. Months passed, and Bahar's oncology team did not mention the option for genetic testing and began treatment hopelessly.

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Advancements in genome science and technology are evolving the medical field rapidly toward the direction of personalized treatment plans using genetic testing and targeted therapy. Genetic testing has the power to transform patients' lives. Yet, only a few physicians and patients know the benefits genetic testing can bring to their journey. Because of Nilou's educational background, Bahar was no longer among the thousands of patients who had never heard about genetic counselling.

Benefits of genetic testing:

1. There may be new FDA-approved targeted therapy available.

2. Certain drugs may negatively impact
 treatment journey.

 

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Promise me Nilou that in your clinic all your patients will know the benefits and limitations of genetic testing. 

- Bahar

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