How genetic testing can play a pivotal role in becoming cancer free

According to the National Cancer Institute, there were an estimated 16.9 million cancer survivors as of January 2019 in the United States. That number is projected to increase to 22.2 million by 2030.

June marks National Cancer Survivors Month. Cancer survivor Lyndsay Levingston appeared on KPRC 2+ Tuesday to share her breast cancer survival story and the importance of genetic testing in both assessing risks and determining treatment options.

Levingston was 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, Levingston decided to take a medical genetic test from Invitae and the results prompted her doctor to completely change her surgical plan. The reasoning? Her genetic test revealed that she carried the BRCA1 mutation which is known to increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancers.

On February 14, 2020, Levingston’s doctor called to let her know she was in remission. She’s been cancer-free since that call 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.

She recently penned a piece for Essence.com for National Minority Health Month emphasizing the importance of genetic testing.

For more information on Levingston’s organization, visit www.imasurviveher.org.

You can stream KPRC 2+ weekdays at 7 a.m. on click2houston.com and the KPRC 2 app.