Pictured from left: Rick Reikenis, Reikenis & Associates; Evelyn Hopkins, Florida Crystals, Chair-Elect; Dr. Nancy Taft, Jupiter Medical Center fellowship-trained breast surgeon; Kathleen Ahern, executive director of marketing at Jupiter Medical Center; and Jupiter Medical Center President & CEO Don McKenna


Jupiter Medical Center was pleased to sponsor the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches’ June Breakfast. The keynote speaker, Nancy Taft, MD, Medical Director of the hospital’s Comprehensive Breast Care Program, explained how precision medicine is completely changing the face of cancer care and prevention. Local business leaders listened as Dr. Taft revealed how advances in genetics have made it not only possible — but essential — to customize cancer treatment by considering each patient’s genetic makeup. 

“Before personalized medicine, most patients with a specific type and stage of cancer received the same treatment,” said Dr. Taft, a fellowship-trained breast surgeon who is also a former Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve and served as a trauma surgeon caring for soldiers on the battlefields in Afghanistan. “That is no longer the standard of care at Jupiter Medical Center.” Certain treatments work better for some patients than others. The growth in the field of genetics has led researchers to find genetic differences in people and their tumors. 

Dr. Taft also shed light onthe mail-order genetic tests that are heavily advertised on TV. While they promise to give insight into your risk of diseases, such as cancer or Alzheimer’s disease, the doctor cautioned that those tests only provide part of the story. She conceded that these popular tests are bringing awareness to important health issues and the role of genetics, but advised that no health care decisions should be based on a mail-order test. 

A dedicated genetic counselor, such as the one at Jupiter Medical Center, can provide a complete assessment of an individual’s cancer risk by looking at many factors, including genetics, gender, age, family history, history of hormone exposure, and more. With cancer, knowing your family history and genetic make-up can save lives. For more information, call 561-263-2234.