Genetic Testing Patient tells her story and why you should get tested

A couple weeks ago KX News told you about genetic testing being offered at Sanford Health. Genetic testing allows doctors to see how likely you are to develop a serious health problem, before it happens.

Kristine Gayda, recently just went through the whole process of genetic testing. She said she’s so happy she did it because she does have a family history of breast and ovarian cancer.

Kristine said all she did was go to the lab and give a blood sample. She said her results took about 12 weeks and then later she met with a genetic counselor to go over what she should do next.

Kristine told KX News why she decided to have the test done in the first place.

“My paternal grandmother had breast and ovarian cancer and with that combination that just kind of put red flags up for me as fas possibly being a genetic risk,” says Gayda.

Kristine says she wasn’t scared before the test, but it was scary to know she was at an increased risk of having cancer.

She says she wanted to know anyway, not only for her sake, but for her family’s. Kristine said she went over her family history and discussed the risks, if she were to get positive results back.

Kristine said her results came back positive for the BRCA gene which means she is likely to get breast cancer.

She says the outcome was not ideal, but it was good to know for screening purposes. She also told KX News that Sanford helped her set up a preventive health plan to prepare.

“I just have to do increase screenings. I do a 3D mammogram every 6 months. And then I also do a breast MRI every 6 months, so a biannual screening,” says Gayda.

Doctors told her what to look out for with her son and future children, because she did test positive.
Kristine says the test also showed her what medications she was sensitive too and how her body processes them.

I talked to Critical Care Physician, Dr. Anthony Tello, at Sanford Health. He says if you qualify for genetic testing, then you should definitely try it.

Dr. Tello says it can be a scary process but it will ultimately be in your best interest in the end.

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