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Hereditary Breast Cancer: Are You at Risk?

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Providenciales, TCI, November 8, 2016 – For about five to ten percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer, hereditary factors are the root cause. In fact, having a first-degree (mother, sister, daughter) relative with breast cancer, increases the potential that you are carrying a mutated breast cancer gene.   And, women who inherit a gene mutation have a much higher risk of developing breast cancer.

A gene can often harbor an abnormality that changes how the cell works or responds to its environment. According to Sara Carroll, genetic counselor at Cleveland Clinic Florida, “the most common causes of hereditary breast cancer include mutations in the BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 gene.”  There are other hereditary causes of breast cancer, but these are the most prevalent. These genes can be inherited from either parent.

BRCA genes help to correct DNA damage. In people with a mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2, the ability to repair damage is impaired and can sometimes lead to breast cancer.  This suggests an estimated 87% lifetime risk of developing breast cancer, which begins to steeply rise at the age of 30. The risk of developing breast cancer by the age of 50 is approximately 50%.

There are several factors that can suggest the possibility that hereditary breast cancer runs in your family. You should be concerned if:

  • There is both breast and ovarian cancer in your family.
  • Diagnosis of breast cancer has occurred before age 50.
  • Diagnosis of bilateral breast cancer (cancer in both breasts).

Ask about genetic counseling if you are concerned, or call for a risk assessment appointment if you are unsure. High-risk women can be tested to screen for mutations in the BRCA genes. “Genetic testing can be beneficial in determining whether a cancer diagnosis was random or the result of an inherited mutation,” says Ms. Carroll.  This is valuable information, as there may also be an increased risk for other cancers as well.  Your family members will also benefit from discovering whether a hereditary risk exists.

At the genetic counseling visit, a personal and detailed family medical history will be obtained.  Depending what your hereditary risk factors are, we can determine whether or not genetic testing is appropriate, and which genetic changes to assess.  Genetic testing involves a blood test, and the results are typically known in a few weeks.

 Hereditary risk assessment and genetic testing have become tools in the personalization of breast cancer treatment, by providing a basic understanding of the structure and function of genes at a molecular level. This knowledge allows the best clinical management to be determined.  In some instances, additional breast cancer risk management options may be necessary.  Tell your doctor about your family history of breast cancer and discuss whether that history might support the consideration of changes to your care.

The Breast Center at Cleveland Clinic Florida is fully accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), a designation given to centers that are committed to providing the highest quality breast care. The breast cancer team provides the most up-to-date information on the genetic components of breast cancer, and offers predictive testing for family members who may have inherited a specific genetic mutation.

“Understanding the increased genetic risk enables you to evaluate your options in advance.  Working with our breast cancer care team, you can create a personalized plan, designed to prevent or detect cancer at an earlier and more treatable stage,” states Ms. Carroll.  Women can be empowered to make important health decisions, armed with the knowledge of their genetic breast cancer risk.

 

 

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Health

Woman dies on Tuesday; 32nd Covid Death for Turks & Caicos

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, January 20, 2022 – The Turks and Caicos has recorded its 32nd death related to COVID-19.

A Ministry of Health press release informed that the individual who was in quarantine in Grand Turk and requested emergency aid on Tuesday; response came from the public health team in Grand Turk.

The person, who we are told is a special needs young woman – was unvaccinated and had underlying medical conditions.

The death rate in the Turks and Caicos of both vaccinated and unvaccinated persons has climbed alarmingly this year.  In the 21-month period from March 2020 when the country recorded its first case to December 2021, there were 26 deaths recorded in the TCI.

In the 19 days since the start of 2022 that number has increased to 32; which means six deaths already in January.

 

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Bahamas News

Cruising should slow down says PAHO

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

‘Slow down on Cruising’, that’s the word from the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO in their latest recent press conference.

Dr. Ciro Ugarte Director of Health Emergencies at the PAHO was referring to the Bahamas but made sure to note that the advice was highly relevant to many countries in the times of omicron.

“In the context of intense transmission, due to the Omicron variant as we have highlighted several times. It is just logical to suspend or at least limit the cruise ship traffic as an outbreak on board might end up exceedingly high and probably will go beyond the capacity of local health services”

Both the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos are experiencing a massive uptick in cases and several warnings regarding cruise travel have been issued by the US Centers for Disease Control.

Cruising just resumed for many regional countries this past Summer, Turks and Caicos was among the latest to restart on December 13.

A stop to sailing would be devastating to economies, however, ports of call like Grand Turk which are reeling with rocketing case numbers of COVID are urged to consider the suggestion of slowing down on ships by PAHO.

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Caribbean News

Cayman gets its second ‘Sir’; former Premier Alden McLaughlin knighted on Jan 1

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#Cayman, January 20, 2022 – Former Premier of Cayman Alden McLaughlin was knighted at the start of 2022; named in the Queen’s New Year Honors List. He is only the second Caymanian to have ever received a knighthood from her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Sir Vassel Johnson, received the honour in 1994; he was Cayman’s first Financial Secretary; he died in November 2008 at the age of 86.

Current Governor, Martyn Roper extended congratulations saying, “This is an outstanding personal achievement for former Premier McLaughlin, one of the most important and impactful political leaders in Cayman over the last 21 years. It is a significant moment for our islands. This historic award is only the second ever Knighthood to a Caymanian since the first in the 1990s. It is a strong signal of the respect in which Cayman is held and a visible demonstration of the progress Cayman has made as a vibrant democracy with strong good governance foundations.”

Sir McLaughlin, who is also now a QC attorney, served two terms as premier and had a career in politics that spanned 21 years. McLaughlin is known for his role in modernizing Cayman’s constitution.

Current premier G. Wayne Panton described the occasion as a unifying moment for the country saying, This is a day of celebration and great pride for all Caymanians as a son of our soil has been bestowed one of the highest honour.  Today marks a new and most unique storyline in the history of the Cayman Islands.  In considering the rarity and magnitude of this occasion, this is certainly a unifying moment for our community.”

Sir Alden McLaughlin, 60, was appointed as a Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George on January 1, 2022.

 

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