Understanding personalized medicine - New York News

Understanding personalized medicine

Posted: Updated:
ATLANTA, Ga. -

At 62, Chris Berrier considers herself pretty healthy, but the retired Lilburn nurse sometimes feels like she's looking over her shoulder

"It could make me crazy. It could make me , like, get OCD, only health foods. I don't do that,"says Berrier

Because when you look at her family's medical history - Chris says - it's not a pretty picture. Her mother died at 61, after battling both breast and ovarian cancer; her mother's mother also died at 61, also from ovarian cancer. Other relatives struggled with heart disease, and stroke. "I feel like I'm somewhat taking care of myself. I probably don't exercise as much as I should, but I conscious of what I eat and I'm very meticulous about having my physicals."

Chris gets regular checkups with Rockbridge Family Medicine's Dr. Tina-Ann Thompson, who is a big believer in learning more about your family health history, and sharing what you find with your doctor." Diabetes is probably the number one thing that you need to really be honest about," says Dr. Thompson "Heart disease. though, is also very big. A lot of men tell me, but some of the women tend to forget that their family history is important for heart disease,"

Dr. Thompson works with patients like Chris to create a personalized care plan, based not just on their family history and individual risk factors." Someone who really wants to know how to stay healthy and stay well, then we go full court. I find out what her parents had, what her grandparents, siblings had, the illness that they had, when they got it." The doctor adds she will then start looking 10 years before that to figure out how to tell her patient how to avoid those particular illnesses.

After her mother's death, Chris underwent genetic testing, but did not have the BRCA gene mutations that raise her risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer. If you have a strong family history of a certain disease, gene tests can look for alterations in your DNA or RNA that may raise your risk of developing the same disorder " At the end of the day, no matter what the genes show, we're still looking at probabilities," says Dr. Thompson

Chris Berrier knows there are no guarantees, but she's okay with that.

"I'm a Christian and God knows what my plan is. I trust Him. He's gotten me through everything so far. Whatever comes,we'll handle it."

  • More Health NewsMore>>

  • Is the discharge of two American Ebola patients safe? Doctor says yes

    Is the discharge of two American Ebola patients safe? Doctor says yes

    Thursday, August 21 2014 6:13 PM EDT2014-08-21 22:13:10 GMT
    Dr. Kent Brantly walked into Thursday's press conference showing no signs of his almost month-long battle with the deadly Ebola virus.
    Dr. Kent Brantly walked into Thursday's press conference showing no signs of his almost month-long battle with the deadly Ebola virus.
  • Cancer survivor celebrates 5 year mark with donor

    Cancer survivor celebrates 5 year mark with donor

    Monday, August 18 2014 6:08 PM EDT2014-08-18 22:08:02 GMT
    If Erin Blonshine ever wondered if her perfect match was out there, now she knows. His name: Johannes Saur. Blonshine, a 29-year-old teacher, says "It's very surreal to stand next to him and know that on the inside our immune systems match."
    If Erin Blonshine ever wondered if her perfect match was out there, now she knows. His name: Johannes Saur. Blonshine, a 29-year-old teacher, says "It's very surreal to stand next to him and know that on the inside our immune systems match."
  • Report: CDC scientist kept quiet about flu blunder

    Report: CDC scientist kept quiet about flu blunder

    An investigation into a potentially dangerous blunder at a government lab found that a scientist kept silent about the accident and revealed it only after other employees noticed something fishy.
    An investigation into a potentially dangerous blunder at a government lab found that a scientist kept silent about the accident and revealed it only after other employees noticed something fishy.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Garner's family meets U.S. attorney

    Staten Island stores worried about rally

    Staten Island stores worried about rally

    Thursday, August 21 2014 11:01 PM EDT2014-08-22 03:01:16 GMT
    The Rev. Al Sharpton and family members of Eric Garner came from a meeting with U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch in which they asked for a federal civil rights investigation into his apparent chokehold death. Meantime, Staten Island businesses are bracing for the huge crowds expected at Saturday's march. Sharpton said he is estimating about 3,000 to 5,000 people to rally Saturday.
    The Rev. Al Sharpton and family members of Eric Garner came from a meeting with U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch in which they asked for a federal civil rights investigation into his apparent chokehold death. Meantime, Staten Island businesses are bracing for the huge crowds expected at Saturday's march. Sharpton said he is estimating about 3,000 to 5,000 people to rally Saturday.
  • Brooklyn Nets Kids Dance Team auditions

    Brooklyn Nets Kids Dance Team auditions

    Thursday, August 21 2014 10:26 PM EDT2014-08-22 02:26:39 GMT
    Out of over 500 hopefuls only a handful will join the Brooklyn Nets Kids Dance Team. The Nets held auditions this week at LIU Brooklyn. Adorable Bronx native Arielle was turned away last year but this time around she's made it through to the final round of the auditions. But even those who were on the team last year still have to try out.
    Out of over 500 hopefuls only a handful will join the Brooklyn Nets Kids Dance Team. The Nets held auditions this week at LIU Brooklyn. Adorable Bronx native Arielle was turned away last year but this time around she's made it through to the final round of the auditions. But even those who were on the team last year still have to try out.
  • Chris Rock gets foul ball at Yankees game

    Chris Rock gets foul ball at Yankees game

    Thursday, August 21 2014 10:03 PM EDT2014-08-22 02:03:11 GMT
    Chris Rock almost made the play of the day at Yankee Stadium. Instead, the comedian wound up with a nice prize -- a foul ball that nearly landed in his lap during Thursday's game between the Houston Astros and New York Yankees.
    Chris Rock almost made the play of the day at Yankee Stadium. Instead, the comedian wound up with a nice prize -- a foul ball that nearly landed in his lap during Thursday's game between the Houston Astros and New York Yankees.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices