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Genetic Testing for Cancer

Posted at 2:21 PM, Jun 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-15 14:21:56-04

June marks National Cancer Survivors Month, a time to celebrate the fact that life after a cancer diagnosis is a reality for more than 16 million Americans.

Lyndsay Levingston was only 37 years old and leading a successful career in NYC as a TV news personality when she discovered a lump in her breast in July 2019. She was diagnosed with Stage IIB triple-negative breast cancer and was given an immediate treatment plan. About halfway through her chemo journey, Lyndsay decided to take a medical genetic test from Invitae and the results prompted Lyndsay’s doctor to completely change her surgical plan. Their reasoning? Her genetic test revealed that she carried the BRCA1 mutation which is known to increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancers.

Like many others, Lyndsay assumed that genetic testing was only done to find risks – not necessarily inform treatment. She’s been cancer-free since 2020, and through her organization SurviveHER, she has continued to advocate for all women, especially other Black women (who according to the CDC, are 40% more likely to die from breast cancer) to prioritize their health and consider medical genetic testing as a proactive measure.

Learn more about genetic testing through Invitae here.

Learn more about SurviveHER here.