Advances in DNA Research Saving Lives

Advances in DNA technology are changing our daily lives from solving decades-old crime investigations to diagnosing and treating cancer.

National DNA Day is celebrated annually on April 25 to commemorate two major discoveries in genetics: the discovery of the double helix and the completion of the Human Genome Project.

Medical professionals are increasingly able to detect cancers by a blood sample.

Aspirus offers genetic counseling services that can help you determine your own personal inherited health risks, or those of other family members, and learn how personalized medicine can impact your health.

“Advances in DNA sequencing technology are leading to a new understanding of cancer and new ways for diagnosing and treating many types of cancer,” says Victoria Ballard, Aspirus Genetic Counselor.

Cancer is a group of genetic diseases that result from changes in the genome of cells in the body, leading them to grow uncontrollably. These changes involve DNA mutations in the genome.

Our cells are constantly finding and fixing mutations that occur in our genome as the cells divide over and over again. But on rare occasions, some mutations slip through our cells' repair machinery, and those mutations can lead to cancer.

“The Human Genome Project has allowed us to establish what "normal" usually looks like for a human genome, so that we can now tell when changes in our genome have taken place that lead to cancer,” says Ballard.

An Aspirus genetic counselor will help you:

  • Find your chance of getting certain diseases
  • Decide if a genetic test is right for you
  • Learn how knowing your genetic makeup could help you with disease prevention or management so you can make more informed health care decisions.

Call Aspirus with questions. A referral from your provider is needed for a visit with a genetic counselor.

To learn more or for an appointment call 715-847-0450 or 844-212-4556, or email