DELAND, Fla., June 6, 2018 On May 31, AdventHealth DeLand hosted a free community luncheon at the Victoria Gardens Clubhouse to address the latest trends in radiation oncology and genetic counseling for cancer risk.
More than 70 community members joined AdventHealth DeLand for this informative event featuring radiation oncologist Dr. Margarita Racsa and Cindy Trawick, board-certified advanced registered nurse practitioner (ARNP) and AdventHealth's specially trained genetic counselor.
Radiation is a treatment modality that uses high energy beams - or x-rays - to target and kill cancer cells, Racsa said during the event. Using a machine called a linear accelerator, radiation therapy fights cancer by damaging the DNA of cancer cells while sparing as much of the healthy cells as possible.
Although it depends on the patients' individual needs, radiation therapy is typically delivered five days a week over the course of several weeks.
During the event, AdventHealth's genetic counselor, Trawick, explained that approximately 5-10 percent of people have hereditary cancer. This is a risk of developing cancer that is passed down through generations by inheriting genes with mutations.
Overall, inherited mutations are thought to play a role in about 5 to 10 percent of all cancers. Because the risk of developing cancer is much higher in families with hereditary cancer than the general population, determining which family members have an inherited gene mutation is very important, Trawick explained. Genetic counseling can help estimate your chance of developing cancer by searching for specific changes or mutations in your genes. Genetic testing is the only way to identify gene mutations which could impact your medical management.
In 2017, the AdventHealth Cancer Institutes in Volusia and Flagler counties began offering genetic counseling. This comprehensive, customized program supports those who have or may be at risk for, hereditary cancer conditions.
About AdventHealth DeLand
AdventHealth DeLand is a member of Adventist Health System, a faith-based health care organization with 46 hospital campuses in nine states, serving more than 5 million patients annually. With a mission to extend the healing ministry of Christ, AdventHealth DeLand has 164-beds and is one of the seven AdventHealths in Flagler, Lake and Volusia counties that composes the AdventHealth Central Florida Division - North Region. As the largest hospital system in the area, the AdventHealth Central Florida Division - North Region has 1,226 beds and more than 7,800 employees.