New England Cancer Specialists (NECS) is opening their High-Risk Cancer Genetics clinic

October 16, 2023

In a bid to offer early diagnosis possibilities to individuals with a genetic predisposition to certain cancers, New England Cancer Specialists (NECS) is opening their High-Risk Cancer Genetics clinic. With the alarming statistic that 1 in 3 Mainers is likely to face a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime, NECS aims to empower residents by providing new early-testing services and a team of genetic counselors to help families better understand their risks, take action, and expand their treatment options.

The aim for this initiative comes from a desire to not only assist the cancer community but also to reach those in the community who, while not currently diagnosed with cancer, have a family history or known genetic mutation.

According to Leah Robert, program manager of Integrative and Wellness Services at NECS, the target audience for the High-Risk Cancer Genetics clinic extends to individuals with a family history of cancer, those with known genetic mutations, as well as NECS’s existing patients who desire a deeper understanding of their genetic predisposition to assess their risk of cancer reoccurrence. “Our inspiration comes from giving people more time with their loved ones, more time doing things they love to do and more time at life,” Robert said.

“Our soft launch began in July, and we have had significant interest from families with a history of cancer as well as from physicians and self-insured employers who see early detection through genetic testing as complimentary to the services they provide,” Seth Robert, representative from NECS, stated regarding the community’s reception of the clinic.

The official opening of the High-Risk Cancer Genetics clinic took place Oct. 13, at 51 US-Route 1 in Scarborough. Patients, staff, the local community, and the media attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony. The event featured presentations from physicians and leadership, along with a current patient sharing their personal experience of how genetic testing has impacted their family’s health and longevity.

Leah Robert, when discussing the clinic’s goals, emphasized the importance of catching cancer early to guide individuals towards appropriate treatments or heightened surveillance screening. “Our goal at NECS is simple, it’s to give more time to people who are at high risk of getting cancer. What do we mean by this? By catching cancer early, we can help people navigate next steps whether that means treatment or increased surveillance screening. Our goal is to educate our community and to be a leader in health care and staying true to our commitment by delivering the best care and support possible,” she said.

Seth Robert echoed this sentiment by highlighting the clinic’s mission to increase awareness of proactive risk evaluation and steps to monitor, and potentially prevent, hereditary cancers within families. “Our goal is to increase awareness that there is a pro-active way to evaluate risk and take steps to monitor, and possibly prevent, certain hereditary cancers from developing in your family,” he said.

For more information about NECS’s programs and the High-Risk Cancer Genetics clinic, you can visit the following links:

For more information, you can contact Leah Robert, program manager of Integrative and Wellness Services at NECS, at 207-229-4938.

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