When Jessica San Miguel was diagnosed with breast cancer, she was shocked. She was only in her 30s.
Her doctor recommended a local surgeon, but Jessica chose Stanford. “I wanted to make sure I was in good hands for all my care.” Her first appointment confirmed her decision. “It felt like I was home,” she said. “They made it very warm and welcoming. They just go above and beyond to take care of their patients.”
At the Stanford Cancer Center, Jessica was treated by a multidisciplinary team of specialists that included a breast cancer surgeon, an oncologist, a radiation oncologist, a radiologist, and a licensed therapist for emotional support.
Because of her young age and the nature of her cancer, Jessica’s team suspected she might have an inherited form of the disease. So, they referred her to the Stanford Cancer Genetics Program for testing and counseling.
Jessica tested positive for a gene mutation that is a known cause for breast cancer. While she was most worried about her sisters and other female relatives, it was her brother who was found to carry the same mutation. Jessica’s team immediately developed a plan to help prevent him from getting cancer.
Genetic testing provides valuable information to help guide the treatment of the person with cancer and prevent secondary cancers from occurring in that person in the future. But genetic testing also has potential to help unaffected family members.
“Knowing has been a blessing, not just for me, for my family as well,” said Jessica. “It will affect generations to come.”
Now, looking back, how does Jessica feel about choosing Stanford? “I always felt I was completely taken care of by a team, all working together for my overall benefit,” said Jessica. “Stanford definitely helped guide me through every step of the way.”