65+: Improving Access to Hereditary Cancer Testing and Medical Management in People Over 65 with Fergus J. Couch, PhD and Lisa Schlager

  • This presentation will provide details about the risks of breast cancer associated with inherited pathogenic variant in cancer predisposition genes and will explain how these risks are influenced by age, race/ethnicity, and family history of cancer. The presentation will also review current coverage landscape for guideline-recommended genetic testing, screening and risk-reducing interventions for Medicare beneficiaries who may be at risk of hereditary cancers due to a known familial mutation or family history of the disease. It will also describe the Reducing Hereditary Cancer Act, legislation that aims to remedy the coverage gaps faced by this Medicare population.

    Level of Instruction: Basic

Zbigniew and Anna M. Scheller Professor of Medical Research; Chair, Division of Experimental Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic

Dr. Couch is a Professor and Chair of the Division of Experimental Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the Mayo Clinic, with a joint appointment in the Department of Quantitative Health Sciences. The research in his laboratory is focused on characterization of genes and variants involved in susceptibility to breast cancer using genetic, genetic epidemiology, and functional approaches. Dr. Couch is a founder and leader of the Evidence-based Network for the Interpretation of Germline Mutant Alleles (ENIGMA) consortium that focuses on determining the clinical relevance of inherited variants in cancer predisposition genes. He is also a co-founder of the Consortium of Investigators of Modifiers of BRCA1/2 (CIMBA) that has focused on identified common genetic factors that modify risks of breast cancer among carriers of germline BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations. He is the leader of the Hereditary Breast, Ovarian and Pancreatic cancer (HBOP) variant curation expert panel (VCEP) and a member of the BRCA1/2 VCEP in ClinGen. Dr. Couch has published over 560 peer reviewed articles. In 2013 Dr. Couch received the Mayo Clinic Investigator of the Year award, in 2016 was named the AACR Outstanding Investigator for Breast Cancer Research and in 2020 he received an Outstanding Investigator award from the National Cancer Institute for his work on breast cancer.

Lisa Schlager

Vice President, Public Policy, FORCE: Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered

Lisa Schlager is a recognized consumer advocacy leader for people affected by hereditary cancer. As Vice President of Public Policy for FORCE, she spearheads the organization’s legislative and regulatory policy efforts, advocating for the unique needs of the high-risk cancer community.  

Well-versed in healthcare and genetic privacy laws—e.g. Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act (WHCRA), Affordable Care Act—Schlager is the point person on national guidelines and advocacy issues impacting the hereditary cancer community. She possesses expert knowledge on policies affecting individuals at increased risk of cancer, insurance coverage of genetic, screening and preventive services, and targeted treatments for those diagnosed with hereditary cancers.  

Ms. Schlager holds leadership positions with a number of cancer and healthcare initiatives in the government, nonprofit, and private sectors. She represents FORCE and the hereditary cancer community as an expert speaker at conferences, events, and in the media.

Genomic Science Liaison, Ambry Genetics

Brooke Overstreet earned her M.S. in Genetic Counseling at the University of Cincinnati and also holds an M.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Arizona. Prior to becoming a genomic science liaison at Ambry, she worked as a clinical genetic counselor at Mayo Clinic in Arizona and counseled patients for oncology, neurology, cardiology and healthy exome. Mrs. Overstreet is a member of the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) and is board certified by the American Board of Genetic Counseling (ABGC).

  • Thu, August 12, 2021
  • 11:00am PDT
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • C.E.U.
    1 Category 1 Contact Hour
  • P.A.C.E. 1 unit

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