Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute (FCS) is seeking to reduce deaths and suffering from hereditary cancers with the launch of a cancer genetics program across its statewide practice. The use of a powerful and proven technology tool developed by Chicago-based software and data analytics company, CancerIQ, and the addition of a specially-trained genetic professional will help identify patients whose cancer is linked to genetics and those at increased likelihood of developing cancer. The partnership between FCS and CancerIQ is the first of its kind within community oncology and will roll out within the practices in phases, beginning in early August.
“Hereditary cancers are often aggressive and tend to affect younger people,” notes FCS President & Managing Physician Dr. Lucio Gordan. Women and men can inherit genetic mutations from their parents that put them at increased risk of developing certain cancers, such as melanoma, breast, colon and prostate cancer, among others. “This powerful new screening tool will enable us to compile a comprehensive health history for patients and understand what factors might play a role in developing other types of cancers.”
“Knowing risk factors for hereditary cancers early can be life-saving, allowing patients to take preventive measures that can preempt or prevent the disease,” said FCS Chief Operating Officer Todd Schonherz. “Supported by this technology, we are able to identify and refer eligible candidates for a high-risk consultation and ensure they get the timely preventive services they need to reduce their risk.”
Using an iPad or other handheld mobile device, patients answer simple multiple-choice questions. CancerIQ then analyzes family history and runs predictive risk models. Those flagged as high risk are referred for genetic counseling, testing, and personalized care management. The technology assists in the development of a comprehensive care plan based on national clinical guidelines from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.
“The process of compiling a comprehensive health history and understanding what factors might play a role in developing cancer can be overwhelming and confusing,” said Vicki Caraway, RN, BSN, MBA, NE-BC, FCS vice president of clinical services. “We are excited to have this capability available as part of our ongoing commitment to providing an extensive plan of care for our patients to ensure the best possible outcomes.”
“At a time when new visits and diagnoses have fallen across the country, we’re proud of Florida Cancer Specialists for offering more proactive care for patients who may be predisposed to the disease,” said Feyi Olopade Ayodele, CEO, CancerIQ. “Their decision to partner with us represents a fundamental shift in care delivery, where more community oncologists have started to include hereditary cancer testing and high-risk management as part of their service offerings to catch cancer at earlier, more treatable stages.”