Over the past year, I have had the honor to work with Ms. Marcie Casey, a genetic counseling graduate student, on her thesis committee. On Friday, May 9th, I had an opportunity to watch her present her thesis on “The Psychosocial Implications of Hereditary Diffuse Gastric Cancer,” which can be found at this link on the No Stomach For Cancer website.
It was exciting to see such important work being done for those affected by HDGC. There are obvious physical challenges when dealing with HDGC, but the psychosocial aspects of it can be, in some cases, more difficult than the physical ones. Hopefully, her research will be helpful for those families diagnosed with HDGC.
Also, it was great to see Marcie present to a room full of professionals pursuing a career in genetic counseling. Now they are not only aware of HDGC itself but also some of the non-physical aspects that such a diagnosis brings. As a result, they will be able to better help future patients who may be diagnosed with HDGC.
Finally, what I enjoyed the most about this process is that those in the No Stomach For Cancer community – ordinary people who have endured the heartache that HDGC brings – were able to use their experience to help others. So many people took time to thoroughly complete Marcie’s survey. She remarked at her presentation how amazed and grateful she was at how much time people took to provide feedback.
As Marcie said while presenting her thesis, there is much more work to be done regarding “The Psychosocial Implications of Hereditary Diffuse Gastric Cancer.” Because of the outstanding response she had from study participants, there is more she hopes to learn and share regarding HDGC.
Thank you to all who responded to Marcie’s survey. Your time, energy, and experience are making a direct impact on how people deal with HDGC.