With the hype of Black Friday and Cyber Monday finally behind us, today we look forward to giving gifts of a different kind.
#GivingTuesday began five years ago when the NYC-based organization The 92nd Street Y decided to set aside a day around the holidays dedicated to celebrating the generosity of giving. Thanks to social media, the idea has caught on and spread worldwide to other philanthropic organizations who have joined the movement with the hope of inspiring people to give back to a good cause.
In the spirit of #GivingTuesday, we have put together a list of cancer organizations who are hoping to make an impact today. This is just a partial list; many other nonprofits can be found via social media or by visiting GivingTuesday.org.
Imerman Angels: This Chicago-based organization provides free, one-on-one cancer support to people facing cancer all over the world. Learn more at: givegab.com/campaigns/givingtuesday-2017
Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation: This nonprofit fights childhood cancer "one cup at a time.” The organization raises money and awareness for childhood cancer by encouraging individuals--including children--to hold fundraisers via lemonade stands. Learn more about their #GivingTuesday campaign at: alexslemonade.org/GivingTuesday
LIVESTRONG: Give a gift to LIVESTRONG today and The Shine Foundation will match it dollar for dollar to help those fighting cancer. Learn more at: Livestrong.org
American Cancer Society: In a partnership with Mastercard, any donation to @AmericanCancer today will be matched up to $250K. Learn more at: Donate3.cancer.org
Stand Up to Cancer: This organization dedicated to groundbreaking cancer research has teamed up with American Airlines and Mastercard to not only match donations but give 25 AAdvantage miles for every dollar donated. Learn more at: secure.eifoundation.org
GoPath Laboratories was thrilled to present this week at a #LunchandLearn event hosted by Imerman Angels, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing one-on-one support to cancer patients free of charge. The presentation included a discussion about genetic counseling and testing as it relates to cancer diagnoses.
The event was kicked off by TinaMarie Bauman, a hereditary cancer genetics nurse counselor who is a consultant on the speakers bureau for GoPath Laboratories. TinaMarie discussed how genetic mutations occur and how they are passed down to other family members. She also discussed the genetic counseling and testing process as well as the types of results a patient may receive. Our Vice President of Service Excellence Debbie Gonzalez and Genetic Testing Project Coordinator Christine Sneckenberg also contributed to the presentation.
Chicago-based Imerman Angels was founded on the belief that no one should face cancer alone. Founder Jonny Imerman was only 26 when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Mr. Imerman says he was fortunate to have the support of family and friends during treatment, but that he never met someone his age who was a cancer survivor. Imerman Angels partners patients with "Mentor Angels" -- survivors or caregivers who have faced the same type of cancer as the patient. The organization believes that this one-one-one support helps patients by allowing them to ask questions about the process and share their feelings with someone who has been through it before.
This service is free for patients and helps anyone touched by any type of cancer, at any age or cancer stage, living anywhere in the world. To learn more about Imerman Angels, visit their website at ImermanAngels.org.
GoPath Laboratories is pleased to announce the expansion of our GeneticsNowTM hereditary cancer testing series with the addition of our newest assay, ProstateNowTM. This 14-gene panel was developed specifically to detect genetic mutations associated with inherited prostate cancer risk.
ProstateNowTM is an NGS-based (next-generation sequencing) assay that examines a variety of genes currently associated with hereditary prostate cancer. Genes included in this panel are: ATM, BRCA1, BRCA2, CHEK2, EPCAM, HOXB13, MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, NBN, PMS2, PALB2, RAD51D and TP53.
The focus of hereditary cancer testing often has been on women with a family history of hereditary breast and ovarian cancers (HBOC). However, recent findings have indicated that genetic mutations associated with BRCA and Lynch syndrome can increase a man’s risk for developing prostate cancer. In fact, it is now believed that approximately 5-10% of all prostate cancers are inherited. ProstateNowTM can give men who have a family history of prostate and other hereditary cancers a risk prediction which can lead to earlier screenings and other preventive measures.
ProstateNowTM detects germline variants as well as duplication/deletion of most genes in the panel. We are constantly researching and adding new genes to our hereditary panels as their links to hereditary prostate cancer are discovered. ProstateNowTM also provides highly accurate results with a quick 10-14 day turnaround.
As part of our continuing efforts to make the hereditary testing process easy to understand for patients, we offer our free GeneticsNowTM guide to hereditary cancer testing for men and women. To receive one or more copies, please fill out the form below or contact us at 855.GOPATH9.
Effective November 1, 2017, UnitedHealthcare will require ordering care providers to request online notification/prior authorization for genetic and molecular lab tests for members who carry UnitedHealthcare Commercial benefit plans.
Certain tests will require ordering care providers to request notification/prior authorization through this process before lab tests can be reimbursed:
• Tier 1 Molecular Pathology Procedures
• Tier 2 Molecular Pathology Procedures
• Genomic Sequencing Procedures
• Multianalyte Assays with Algorithmic Analyses that include Molecular Pathology Testing
• These CPT codes:
- 0009M (prior authorization required starting 1/1/2018)
- S3870 (prior authorization required starting 1/1/2018)
Ordering care providers will need to sign in to UnitedHealthcare’s Link portal and complete the online notification/prior authorization process for tests included in the Genetic and Molecular Lab Test requirement.
If your request meets UnitedHealthcare’s clinical and coverage guidelines, you will get a decision when you submit your request online. If more information or clinical documentation is needed, UnitedHealthcare will contact you.
Care providers can also call BeaconLBS at 800-377-8809 to start the notification/prior authorization process.
The notification/prior authorization requirement is for UnitedHealthcare Commercial benefit plan members. However, it doesn’t apply to care providers in Florida who are subject to the Laboratory Benefit Management Program.
More information is available on UnitedHealthcare's Program Overview page.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
About 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. We now know the difference genetic biomarkers make when it comes to differentiating breast cancer. Identifying a genetic mutation can help give more in-depth information to help patients and clinicians make relevant treatment decisions.
At GoPath Laboratories, we have created a series of panels to determine what genetic mutations have played a role in a woman’s development of breast cancer. Not only can we detect the mutations that affect treatment selection such as HER2/neu, ER/PR, Ki-67 and others, but we also have developed diagnostics to determine if there is a hereditary connection to breast cancer through our BRCAnow® series.
Breast Cancer Mutations Panels
Analyzing a tumor’s genetic makeup can help establish a prognosis and identify what therapies are likely to be effective. To do this, we use the latest technology available including fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), immunohistochemistry (IHC), molecular testing and next-generation sequencing (NGS). Genes analyzed included HER2/neu, ER/PR, Ki-67, PTEN and PIK3CA. For example, about 1 in 5 women have HER2-positive cancers that are often more responsive to hormone therapies such as trastuzumab and lapatinib, whereas HER2-negative cancers do not respond as well.
BRCAnow® for Hereditary Cancer
We also offer testing for genes associated with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (HBOC). About 1 in 500 women in the U.S. has either a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation. Having a BRCA1 mutation increases a person’s risk for developing breast cancer by as much as 50-80%. GoPath uses state-of-the-art, proprietary next-generation sequencing technology to detect BRCA1/2 and other mutations associated with HBOC. We offer a basic panel, an HBOC panel, and a comprehensive risk panel that tests for 30 of the most common genes associated with BRCA-related cancers. As new, relevant mutations are discovered, more genes will be added to our panels. In fact, since BRCA mutations can be inherited from a mother or father, men are now being encouraged to seek BRCA testing when hereditary cancer exists in their bloodline. Men can also be at risk for HBOC cancers including prostate, pancreatic and male breast cancer.
Want to learn more? Check out our molecular test menu or call us at 855.GOPATH9
While September marks the end of summer for many, it is also the time to raise awareness for a number of different types of cancers.
Many organizations celebrate awareness months as a way to focus attention on a particular disease with the hope of educating the public about that particular type of cancer, to generate interest for fundraising and volunteering purposes and to encourage people to explore screening options for cancer detection and prevention.
At GoPath Laboratories, our focus has always been on patient care. Not only do we work rigorously to create the most up-to-date diagnostics to detect cancer, hereditary mutations and syndromes that indicate an increased risk for developing cancer, but one of our goals is to educate patients on various cancers so they know what to look for and what questions to ask of their physicians.
Here is a list of the awareness months for September and online resources available to learn more about each particular condition: