Patricia Kelly, DNP, APRN, CNS, AOCN®

Patricia Kelly, DNP, APRN, CNS, AOCN®n

When Patricia Kelly, DNP, APRN, CNS, AOCN®, research/?evidence-based practice facilitator and genomics consultant at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, presented a genetics session at the ONS 36th Annual Congress in 2011, many questions were raised about colon cancer genetics. This year, at the ONS 37th Annual Congress in New Orleans, LA, Kelly and Bridget LeGrazie, RN, MSN, APN-C, APNG, AOCN®, manager and advanced practice nurse in genetics at Virtua Fox Chase in Voorhees and Mt. Holly, NJ, aimed to answer those questions during their session, “Demystifying Colon Cancer Genetics,” on Sunday, May 6.

“Colorectal cancer genetics tells a story of personalized healthcare,” Kelly said. “Personalized healthcare (though genomics) is a current reality.”

Bridget LeGrazie, RN, MSN, APN-??C, APNG, AOCN®

She explained that national organizations such as the Evaluation of Genomic Applications in Practice and Prevention have evidence-based recommendations for genomic screening for all newly diagnosed colon cancers (i.e., universal screening). “Universal screening and family history assessment are key to the prevention and early detection of colon cancer and other Lynch syndrome–associated cancers.”

Kelly and LeGrazie hoped that their session helped nurses increase their understanding and comfort level with the language and practical application of colon cancer genetics.

“This information is useful in ordering and obtaining genetic and genomic test results and helping patients navigate genomic systems and referrals,” Kelly continued. “[By increasing nurses’ understanding,] colon cancer pathology reports (e.g., immunohistochemistry) will hold greater significance, and colon cancer tumor conferences will make sense.”

“Microsatellite instability and immunohistochemistry have important implications and can potentially provide lifesaving information for our patients and their families,” LeGrazie said. “We hope the presentation propelled the audience to investigate tumor screening for hereditary colorectal cancers at their respective places of practice.”

Many states proclaimed March 22, 2012, as Lynch Cancer Awareness Day. After attending this session, nurses had a new appreciation for the significance of this proclamation and how colon cancer genomic screening can save lives.

The complete recording of this and other ONS 37th Annual Congress sessions will be available by early June. Learn more or prepurchase the recordings. A total of 66.75 CNE credits can be earned through the conference recordings. ONS is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.