Genetic testing now available at Haywood Regional Medical Center

Genetic testing is now available at Haywood Regional Medical Center in Clyde. (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

Her children are a major reason 39-year-old Jennifer Worley became the first patient to opt for genetic testing through a new program at Haywood Regional Medical Center in Clyde.

She added that her family's medical history also motivated her to get the test.

"My maternal grandmother died before the age of 50 from breast cancer," Worley said.

"Those that have significant family history -- first-degrees relatives -- should consider getting genetic testing," Dr. Allison Johnson of Haywood Surgical Associates said.

Genetic testing, from start to finish, typically takes about 30 minutes. Initially, there's a consultation with a counselor, then you watch a video before getting blood drawn.

The results often come back in about three weeks.

"What we're trying to identify is patients that are just at a higher risk for developing certain cancers and then trying to catch those when they're in earlier stages and more treatable," Johnson explained.

After completing the testing process, results showed no genetic mutation, but still a higher than average breast cancer risk for Worley.

"So, I am choosing the route to alternate every six months between mammograms and MRIs," she said.

She's following every step to remain healthy.

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