LUBBOCK, Texas — Family trees show where you’ve been.
But the family tree that genetic counselor Julie Beasley shows her patients at Joe Arrington Cancer Center shows what their future could look like.
“Genetics is important for everybody no matter your gender, your race, your age,” explained Beasley. “Genetic testing and family history can play a vital role in healthcare for any role in any race.”
She talks to people who have cancer or family history of cancer and helps them figure out if something is hereditary or can expose them to cancer in their family.
“It’s important to know your family history to get an idea of what’s in your family but not just what they were diagnosed with but how old were they or was it a rare type of cancer,” Beasley explained.
This testing can help patients get diagnosed earlier or could prevent it all together.
Interpreters are also available for people who don’t speak English so they can also understand what is going on.
“I think it’s very important because sometimes they’re scared to come in because of the diagnosis but if they don’t completely understand what’s going on then they may not be willing to come back,” said Delia Rubio, intake coordinator at Covenant Health. “This way they’re informed and they know.”
Beasley hopes patients will see the importance of genetic testing and how it can benefit people in the future.
“If patients know it’s there we can help them with managing it so they don’t worry as much and they can put that behind them,” said Beasley.