Many people worry about being diagnosed with cancer, especially if close relatives have had cancer. Most cancer is sporadic, occur-ring by chance. Some families have multiple people with cancer, often with the same type of cancer and they have more cases of cancer than we would expect to see by chance alone. Determining which families have cancer related to an inherited gene mutation (change in the gene) is important, because they have a much higher risk for cancer and recurrent cancer than the general population.
Our Cancer Center offers genetic counseling services to carefully evaluate your family history and provide education and guidance to help you decide if genetic testing is right for you. This type of consultation may clarify the chance for you and your family members to develop certain types of cancer. It can also help you and your physicians make more informed medical decisions about cancer screening and prevention.
The genetic consultation and results are provided in a comfortable, confidential one-on-one setting. Cancer genetic counseling and testing is covered by most health insurance plans.
If one or more of the following statements is true for you or your close family members, you may wish to meet with our genetic counselor:
• Many relatives have had cancer.
• Two or more relatives had the same type of cancer.
• Cancer has been diagnosed in you or a close relative that was at a younger age (e.g., breast or colon cancer before age 50).
• You or a relative had more than one type of cancer (e.g. cancer in both breasts, colon and uterine cancer, breast and ovarian cancer).
• You or a relative have had a rare or unusual cancer.
• You are worried about cancer risks for yourself or your children and would like to talk with a specialist.
A better understanding of your cancer risk, and the risks for your family members, can help to provide peace of mind.
To learn more about genetic counseling and testing or to schedule an appointment please call the Cancer Center at 970-384-7570.