Watch "Pink & Blue: Colors of Hereditary Cancer"

Friday, April 5, 2024

WHAT IS A PEDIGREE? (In memory of my Dad, 1927 - 2019)

PEDIGREE of AMY BYER SHAINMAN, (father's side of the family)

One way to record a family history is by drawing a family tree called a “pedigree.” A pedigree represents family members and relationships using standardized symbols. As patients relate information about their family history, a pedigree can be drawn much quicker than recording the information in writing and allows patterns of disease to emerge as the pedigree is drawn.

 The above pedigree includes Amy and her father’s side of the family. The females are represented by circles, and the males are represented by squares. Any person who has been diagnosed with a form of cancer is darkened in with a color or a symbol to represent the type of cancer diagnosis. Any circle or square with a line drawn through it indicates someone who is deceased. The numbers by each symbol represent the age of the person or, if he or she is deceased, the age at which he or she passed away. Amy is the circle on the far right.

Constance Murphy, APRN, CGRA, member of the National Society of Genetic Counselors

me and my Dad, July 2, 2000

Thursday, February 15, 2024

3 Decades, 3 Cancers: Stacey Sager's story

For anyone who has ever faced a cancer diagnosis, Eyewitness News Reporter Stacey Sager describes the importance of speaking up, never giving up, and knowing your own body. As a BRCA-positive woman, Stacey has long advocated for the importance of staying vigilant about both breast and ovarian cancer. Stacey walks viewers through a deeply personal and shocking journey -- one that is a quarter of a century-long. She details her 3 separate cancer cases, and how her most recent cancer formed under the rarest of circumstances. Stacey's doctors from Mount Sinai's Dubin Breast Center of The Tisch Cancer Institute and U Penn's Basser Center for BRCA also enlighten viewers on their thoughts regarding triple-negative breast cancer and the likelihood of vaccines. A must-see for anyone who hopes to find cancer before it is too late, and the inspirational account of someone who continues to defy her own lifetime risk. For a better viewing experience, you can stream the series on-demand on our ABC7NY app on Roku, FireTV, Apple TV, and Android TV. WABC Television New York, LLC | 2024

Monday, November 20, 2023

Tuesday, October 17, 2023


Recently, to check the integrity of my silicone gel-filled breast implants, I underwent an ultrasound on my left breast, leading to a breast MRI. I share my experience in this health check video below and also the current FDA recommendations on health screenings for silicone gel-filled breast implants.  

Tuesday, October 3, 2023


Familiarize yourself with guidelines for breast cancer genetic testing. Genetic testing can provide patients with actionable information regarding treatment and screening.

Do you have a personal history of breast cancer?
Do you have a family history of breast cancer only?
The infographics below indicate when to consider genetic counseling.

To find a certified genetic counselor in person or via telehealth please go to The National Society of Genetic Counselors website:
➡ Fill out info, city, zip and for cancer risk assessment, under "Types of Specialization" ✔️ the box > 🔲 Cancer

(Infographics via My Gene Counsel, LLC, a source of accurate, cutting-edge, unbiased genetic information written in language you can understand and use.)