In her talk on genetic counselling, Jaclyn Haven explains the work she does with her team at Shodair Hospital. More specifically, she delves into what she's learned from its outreach efforts, which enable the team to take their services to different states and reservations.
She starts out by discussing the emotional complications that come with this kind of work, as the job entails delivering information that has the potential to drastically change lives. Throughout her career, Jaclyn Haven developed a keen interest for cancer genetics. As many of these diseases are passed through inheritance, the choice to go through genetic counselling can be difficult for some, as it can reveal things that they are no longer in control of and that are very likely to cause severe issue down the road.
One mother who decided to undergo this type of testing was Angelina Jolie, who publicly announced her decision to do so. Due to this, testing for these genes has gone up, and discussions among families regarding them have become less taboo. Although this news is incredibly hard to hear for patients who are carriers of such mutations, Jaclyn Haven explains that awareness of it can lead to happier lives in her talk on genetic counseling.
For those who know that they're at high-risk of cancer, it means they're able to undergo more vigorous testing that can help to prevent it. For those living with Huntington disease, it can mean making career choices that are more manageable. Although there's plenty of benefits associated with genetic counselling, Jaclyn Haven makes it clear that the choice to do so is best left to the individual, however she recommends that her audience seek out these growing resources if they believe they could be helped by them.
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