Genetic Counseling Info

What is Genetic testing?

Genetic testing is a laboratory blood test designed to detect inherited changes in a person’s DNA which increases their risk for cancer. Before testing we will meet with you to discuss your risk assessment, as well as benefits and limitations of genetic testing.

What is the purpose of genetic risk assessments?

Studies have shown that some people and families are at increased risk of developing specific cancers, if they carry specific genetic information. This means that the potential for developing these forms of cancer may be passed on from one generation of a family to the next generation. The purpose of this program is to assess the personal risk for developing cancer, and/or another cancer, and to help formulate an individualized plan to reduce risk, in order to help prevent the onset and promote early detection.

Who should consider genetic education and testing?

Not all cancer is hereditary. In fact, almost 90% of cancers are attributed to environmental factors, lifestyle choices, or a combination of reasons. You should consider a cancer risk assessment if your family includes:

  • Multiple family members in the same or successive generations affected with the same or related cancers, especially breast, colon, ovarian, uterine, melanoma, and pancreatic
  • Cancer diagnosis under age 50
  • Diagnosis of more than one primary cancer in the same person
  • Male breast cancer
  • A known hereditary syndrome or a family in which a mutation in a cancer causing gene has already been identified

Why should you have a genetic risk assessment done?

  • To determine your cancer risk
  • To determine your family’s risk of developing cancer
  • To determine your need for further cancer screening

What services will this program include?

You will receive a detailed family and personal health history which will include a chart. A lineage chart (family tree) represents family relationships and identifies those family members who have had cancer. We will discuss the risk of cancer for you and your family and offer recommendations specific to your situation. We will also spend time with you answering your questions and determine if genetic testing is appropriate for you.

How can I learn more about genetic risk assessments and testing?

Please call us if you have questions: 800-592-5110 or email us.