Ripples in a Pond

After going to a routine checkup in the spring of 2017, Ed Hoppe was told that his PSA level was elevated and was referred to a local urologist, Dr. Goodson, for prostate cancer evaluation. When his pathology report determined that he had prostate cancer, Dr. Goodson ordered a Prolaris test to find out the aggressiveness of his cancer before determining treatment.

“Given the aggressive scale of his Prolaris results, I recommended definitive treatment and outlined options including radiation with hormone deprivation therapy,” said Dr. Goodson.

Ed also had an extensive family history of cancer that included prostate, breast, and ovarian cancer. His family history combined with the aggressiveness of his disease led Dr. Goodson to order a myRisk Hereditary Cancer Test. Knowing one’s hereditary cancer risk can dramatically impact medical management. 

“We believe this ought to be obtained on anyone that has an intermediate grade or higher of prostate cancer,” said Dr. Goodson.

Ed’s myRisk results came back positive for a mutation on BRCA1, meaning his prostate cancer was caused by an inherited faulty gene that encourages the disease to grow.  Sons and daughters of someone with a gene mutation have a 50% chance of having that same mutation. In Ed’s case, his two daughters tested positive for the gene mutation, increasing their risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

“It had affected my family as much as it had affected just me. My two daughters have since learned they are positive.”

 “Like a pebble in a pond, you know the ripples keep on coming out and in fact, there are 46 people in Ed’s extended family that may benefit from this information” stated Dr. Goodson.

Ed’s family can now take proactive steps like increased screening starting at earlier ages to prevent and reduce their risk of developing certain cancers.

If you have a family history of cancer you should provide that information to your physician and ask if you qualify for genetic testing. You could be the key to learning you and your family’s hereditary cancer risk.

“Knowledge is power I think somebody said.” – Ed Hoppe

Take our Hereditary Cancer Quiz to learn more about your potential risk.