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Funding from Brian Olson Tournament Helps St. Luke's MSTI Provide Important Genetic Testing

By Ken Dey, News and Community
June 3, 2013

Boise, ID – Would you take a genetic test to determine if your family was at risk for cancer? In 2012, St. Luke’s Mountain State Tumor Institute (MSTI) provided tumor screening for a genetic condition called Lynch Syndrome.

Lynch syndrome is a hereditary cancer syndrome that causes an 80 percent risk of colorectal cancer, a 60 percent risk of endometrial cancer, and additional risks for small bowel, ovarian, stomach, pancreas, urinary tract, brain, kidney, breast, and prostate cancers. These Lynch families are recommended to have early and frequent screening (i.e. colonoscopy at age 20) to reduce the risk of cancer.

Lynch syndrome is rare though it is estimated that 1/35 of patients with colon cancer and 1/40 with endometrial cancer have it. Early detection of these families allows for genetic counseling and more definitive genetic testing for individuals otherwise unaware.

The Brian Olson Memorial Golf Classic has donated funds to make these tumor tests possible. The tournament, named after Brian Olson, a Boise resident who died in 1999 from colon cancer, has raised over $400,000 in the last 13 years to fund colon cancer early detection. St. Luke’s and the Brian Olson Tournament’s unique collaboration provided full financial support for the test if it is not covered by a patient’s insurance.

In the past year, 185 tests have been completed and three families have been confirmed to have Lynch syndrome after completing comprehensive genetic testing.

Photo/Interview Opportunity: A check for approximately $25,000 will be provided to St. Luke’s at 1 p.m. on Friday, June 7 at the Brian Olson Memorial Golf Tournament at the Banbury Golf Club in Eagle (2626 S. Marypost Pl.). Jennifer Eichmeyer, a genetic counselor, from St. Luke's will be available to discuss the unique Lynch Syndrome program.

Contacts:

St. Luke’s Media Manager, (208) 381-2894 

Doug Cole, Volunteer Media Chairperson, Brian Olson Memorial Tournament, (208) 761-8354 or doug.w.cole@simplot.com

About The Author

Ken Dey served as Public Relations Coordinator at St. Luke's from 2008-2014.