Information is Power

Since Redstone Federal Credit Union teamed up with HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in October 27, 2016, to offer free or reduced cost genetic cancer testing, more than 500 women and men in five counties of North Alabama have been screened.     

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Information is Power: Free community cancer risk testing ending soon

26 Oct 2017

Information is Power

Since Redstone Federal Credit Union teamed up with HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in October 27, 2016, to offer free or reduced cost genetic cancer testing, more than 500 women and men in five counties of North Alabama have been screened.   

We are excited to be a part of HudsonAlpha's unique breast and ovarian cancer genetic risk testing initiative:  Information is Power. This ground-breaking screening tests for mutations in the well-known BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, as well as additional genes linked to other cancers. The initiative was set to end in October 2016, but  with Redstone's generous sponsorship, it was extended and expanded through October. 28, 2017. 

There is still time to take advantage of the free testing, available to 30-year-old women and men who live in Madison, Jackson, Limestone, Marshall and Morgan Counties. Genetic testing company Kailos Genetics collaborated in the project and developed the genetic screening tool. 

For all others who live in those counties, the test is available at a reduced cost through October 28.We urge everyone to sign up for the screening. The genetic data can help you make smarter, more informed decisions about your health.

Surprisingly, nearly 60% of the women who tested positive had little or no family history of cancer, or the history was unknown. Without a family history, these women would likely not have been referred by their doctors to have genetic testing done. 

"A significant portion of individuals who tested positive reported little to no family history of cancer,'' said Meagan Cochran, a genetic counselor at HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology.

"Because of the initiative, we've been able to provide valuable information to individuals who were unknowingly at risk,'' Cochran said. 

Of the 514 people who took the test through this past September, 156 were 30-year-olds who received the test for free; and 82 were men. If a man tests positive for a defective gene, it can lead to a future diagnosis of breast cancer and his children have a 50% chance of carrying the gene.

Joseph Newberry, President and CEO of Redstone, said sponsoring the extension and expansion of this testing is one way Redstone helps to build healthy and strong communities.

"October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and we want to reiterate that taking this test could be a very important milestone in caring for yourself,'' Newberry said. "We are happy to help support HudsonAlpha with Information is Power and know this year has had a positive impact throughout our communities,'' he said.

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