Dalton surgeon chairs national panel changing breast cancer genetic testing guidelines

DALTON, Ga. — The American Society of Breast Surgeons released new consensus guidelines on Feb. 14 calling for genetic testing to be made available to all patients diagnosed with breast cancer. The new guidelines expand earlier recommendations that encouraged testing only for certain age groups and types of cancer. Dr. Eric R. Manahan, a surgeon at Hamilton Physician Group — General Surgery in Dalton, chaired a group of world-renowned genetics experts to draft this new consensus statement. Other represented institutions included Johns Hopkins, Memorial Sloan Kettering (New York City), MD Anderson, Mayo Clinic and Harvard Medical School, to name a few. The statement is based on an extensive review of current literature that suggests that recent National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) criteria resulted in a number of potential disease-producing variants going undetected. Some patients and their family members developed cancers that could have been prevented with testing under the new, broader guidelines. Identification of specific genetic inconsistencies in breast cancer patients often provides crucial guidance for more effective disease management. Additionally, relatives of those who are shown to have abnormalities and have a high probability of carrying the same potential disease-producing genes also could be tested. This would offer appropriate risk-reducing strategies for early stage diagnosis. Currently, NCCN guidelines allow for testing of family members of patients with identified potential disease-producing variants but only identify about 50 percent of breast cancer patients with those variants. Breast cancer in the United States was estimated to affect more than 266,000 people in 2018. Of that number, approximately 40,000 would be expected to die from their disease. While experts have been looking at the genetic information of women with obvious family history of breast cancer, recent data has shown that genetic information may also be valuable and impact future care decisions for many other women where there is not a family pattern.

Fight breaks out in front of deputies

MOULTRIE, Ga. — A domestic dispute that led to the exchange of blows on Sunday was ended quickly by two Colquitt County Sheriff’s Office deputies who were at the residence when the fight broke out. Officers were dispatched at about 2:04 p.m. to the 126 Hilltop Lane, Norman Park, residence of Christian Fabian Martinez. There, Xochitl Barajas reported that her daughter’s boyfriend, Juantavion Williams, was asking for his child’s Social Security number and birth certificate. A deputy told Williams the issue was an apparent civil matter, and a second deputy who spoke Spanish tried to sort things out by speaking with Barajas. Martinez arrived, police said, and he and Williams began arguing and as one of the officers tried to separate them they began swinging at each other and then went to the ground fighting. The deputies then took them into custody. Martinez, 24, and Williams, 21, 2605 Seventh St. S.E., were each charged with affray.

Westwood hosting Dr. Deas book signing

LIVE OAK, Fla. — Dr. Jimmy Deas will be signing copies of his new book Saturday morning at Westwood Baptist Church. Deas, who spent more than 20 years as pastor at Westwood, will be signing from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Family Life Center at Westwood. His new book is called “A Teachers Gift and Other Stories.” Everyone is invited to attend the signing and have fellowship with Deas, a Jennings native. Copies of the book will be available at the signing and can also be purchased through Amazon for $14.95.

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