Genetic Risk Evaluation and Testing
Genetic testing can help determine if you have an increased risk for certain types of cancer, including breast, ovarian, colorectal, endometrial (uterine cancer), stomach cancer, ureter/renal pelvis, biliary tract, small bowel, pancreas, brain, or sebaceous adenomas. While you can’t inherit cancer, you can inherit a higher risk for developing it.
Many of our cancer centers provide an in-depth assessment for patients with a strong personal or family history of cancer. Genetic testing provides early detection, reduces cancer risk, and saves lives. Early detection is one of the most important things you can do to protect your health.
Our healthcare providers with training in genetics can help determine if genetic testing is right for you, as well as analyze your risk for hereditary cancer syndromes. After testing, they’ll evaluate your results, make recommendations, and, if needed, assist with follow-up care.
About Genetic Testing
Genetic testing analyzes your DNA to detect specific, inheritable, disease-related gene mutations that may increase the risk of certain cancers. It provides you with an in-depth cancer risk assessment.
A genetic evaluation includes:
- Medical history: A detailed review of your personal and family medical history and a counseling session is completed to determine your risk of developing cancer, the appropriate medical management, and if genetic testing is recommended to help clarify your cancer risk.
- Testing: Genetic testing is analysis of a person’s genes (usually through a blood sample) to determine if you have a change in a gene, called a mutation, that increases the risk for cancer. A small blood sample is analyzed, looking for a change or mutation in the gene. Insurance companies typically cover the cost of testing if you have a personal or family history that is concerning for a hereditary cancer. Cost and insurance coverage for testing are discussed during your evaluation.
- Counseling: Following the testing, you’ll receive comprehensive counseling based on your test results and family history. For those who are found to have a gene mutation or are at a higher risk of cancer, options for next steps are discussed.
- Next steps: If you have a gene mutation and a higher risk of cancer, we’ll discuss your prevention options, which can include surveillance or prevention tactics. A patient’s choice is strictly a personal decision. Genetic counseling and testing provide the tools you need to make informed decisions.
- Family Risk: If you test positive for a mutation, we encourage your other family members to be tested as well. The information from genetic counseling and testing enables family members to make decisions that could save their lives. It also can tell family members that they do not have the mutated gene.
Benefits of Genetic Counseling and Testing
- Relief from uncertainty
- Understand your cancer risk
- Make informed medical and lifestyle decisions
- Provide helpful information to other family members
Risks of Genetic Counseling and Testing
- Difficulty coping with cancer risk
- Impact on family and personal relationships
- Concern about the privacy of results
Brochure and Program Forms