TMC to help patients understand their cancer risk

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) – Tucson Medical Center cares for more than 5,000 cancer patients each year.

“It’s not just affecting them, it’s affecting the whole family. There are so many aspects,” said Karen Narum, a women’s health nurse practitioner at Tucson Medical Center.

Narum has seen cancer change the lives of countless people and now advocates for his patients to understand their own risk.

“I usually ask my patients to prepare by doing a deep dive and asking their parents and family about their medical history,” Narum said.

Discussing a patient’s family history of cancer is often the first step in genetic counseling. TMC has partnered with the Mayo Clinic to offer the service virtually.

“Counseling, at first, looks at family and personal history, but it also goes into great detail about the pros and cons of a test,” Narum said.

The genetic counseling program was funded by a $1.5 million grant to the TMC Foundation. The money will provide financial assistance to patients who otherwise might not be able to afford it.

“We have more and more insurance companies stepping up, but ironically some won’t pay for the test unless they have received advice and advice is not always covered,” said said Narum. “That’s why this is a fantastic opportunity for patients.”

TMC believes the service will empower patients to make informed decisions about their health and their future.

“This is a truly scary time for patients and our job is to innovate and collaborate to serve patients in the best possible way,” said Mimi Coomler, CEO of Tucson Medical Center.

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Megan Meier is a reporter for KGUN 9. Megan graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University in May 2018. While pursuing her studies in broadcast journalism, Megan completed an internship at the City of Phoenix. Share your story ideas and important issues with Megan via email [email protected] or by logging in on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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