Why I care about women’s health

I am part of an all-women team at Phenogen Sciences, Inc, a US subsidiary of Genetic Technologies. We are scientists, business women and mothers. We are passionate about preventative healthcare and making sure that women have the tools and resources available to them to make the best decisions for their health. Every women’s healthcare choices reflect her individual options and circumstances.

In our fields, we learn something new everyday, whether it’s from a physician, researcher, or patient, and this blog is our opportunity to share what we learn with all the women. Being well-informed empowers us to make the best decisions for ourselves and our families. Our blog posts do not necessarily reflect the opinions/views of the company’s. 

I grew up playing boys hockey. I always hated being considered “different” as a girl. I wanted to just blend in as one of the guys. In some circumstances, it’s perfectly fine wanting, demanding and receiving equal treatment to the guys (that’s a topic for a different blog). But when it comes to healthcare, I do want to be recognized as a female. And I do want to be treated differently.

There is a long history of women’s healthcare taking a backseat to men’s. Most of today’s medicine is based on safety, efficacy and tolerance studies on men, not women–even things as simple as low-dose aspirin! We, as women, have different body compositions and hormone levels compared to men; just these things alone are going to change how a drug works in our bodies compared to a man’s. And, let’s face it, we can grow a tiny human in our bodies, there are obviously a lot of other small differences. So, women’s health is important to me–hey I’m a woman. Heart disease and cancer are the top two causes of death in women. My background is in cancer biology, and breast cancer is of special interest to me. 1 in 8 of us get it. My mission is to introduce breast cancer awareness topics so that women are aware of their breast cancer risks and empowered to have the right conversations with their healthcare providers. But this same concept can be applied to focus on prevention for many different diseases. As our company brings several new products to the market, I will continue to add content across broader disease areas.

I played NCAA women’s ice hockey at (and got my BS in molecular biology from) UCONN before getting my doctorate from University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. After doing my post-doctoral studies at MD Anderson Cancer Center, I moved into the field of translational genomics. In my current position with Phenogen Science, I work in clinical affairs and medical education to help commercialize our clinical risk assessment tests for breast cancer. The lack of comprehensive access to breast health awareness across the US surprised me–this is a space for me to provide basic resources from the perspective of a science-loving, boy-mom, phD who is honored to get to interact with, speak-to and learn-from some of the brightest clinicians and scientists in women’s health. 

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