Cancer Genetic Counseling For The New Year

During the new year, many people make a commitment to better personal health As part of many people’s new year ritual is a commitment to make changes, with many of them related to being a commitment to better personal health. At Comprehensive Cancer Centers, a recommendation is to consider Cancer Genetic Counseling if you have a family history of cancer.

For those looking to take charge of their health in the new year, contacting Comprehensive and learning more about cancer genetic counseling is a great option. For those who have not had cancer but have a family history, may have risks associated with carrying the genes. Identifying risks, is something that can be accomplished through Cancer Genetic Counseling at Comprehensive Cancer Centers. For those who have had cancer, counseling may  shed light on risks associated with those earlier diagnoses.

Why Get Cancer Genetic Counseling?

Inherited cancer syndromes account for approximately five to ten percent of all cancers. This equates to nearly 50,000 newly diagnosed cancers attributed to a gene inherited from your parents each year in the United States. It is important for individuals and families that have cancer susceptibility genes to be aware of risks.

Not everyone with a cancer gene will develop cancer, but risks are greatly increased based on genealogical circumstances. Some people with certain genes may develop cancer at younger ages than other people. Genetic testing to reveal potential risks for those with a family history is now highly recommended and is becoming an expectation in oncology practices, such as Comprehensive Cancer Centers.

Who Needs to Get Genetic Testing?

The United States Preventive Services Task Force specifically recommends women who have family members with breast, ovarian, fallopian tube, or peritoneal cancer be evaluated through genetic cancer screening. This includes those with BRCA-1 or BRCA-2, factors associated with increased likelihood of having a harmful mutation. Other risk factors include family history, early breast cancer diagnoses, ovarian cancer history, Ashkenazi Jewish ethnicity, and other factors the Counseling team at Comprehensive can help you better understand during consultations.

How Does the Cancer Genetic Counseling Process Work?

The cancer genetic counseling team starts with family history for identifying people who are at an increased risk for developing certain cancers. Both parent’s histories will be obtained as well as histories for other blood relatives including your children. The team wants to know who has had cancer, the type of cancer they were diagnosed with their age at the diagnosis. Histories determine whether additional research, or genetic testing for a hereditary cancer syndrome, is beneficial.

Should the determination be made that genetic testing is recommended, the team will then educate those being tested further on cancer genetics and hereditary syndromes. The reason why Comprehensive refers to the process as counseling is because a significant part of the process includes discussions about the process and is critical to helping those getting screening make informed decisions.

This process includes details on specific tests being performed, what results from the screenings mean, psychological implications of being tested, confidentiality issues, options for risk estimation without genetic testing and risks of passing a gene mutation to a child. The team also discusses fees involved in testing, options and limitations of medical surveillance and strategies for prevention after testing, as well as the importance of sharing genetic test results with at-risk relatives.

When I Get Results What Will They Mean?

All of those going through Cancer Genetic Counseling are provided with results from the specific test being performed. With these results, those tested are empowered with information to help make decisions about future health outcome possibilities and can adjust their lives to reduce risks. This can include earlier screenings and more regularly to catch problems early. It can also include a roadmap for making dietary and lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking and eating better.

Comprehensive Cancer Centers Can Help

If you’re interested in more information about Cancer Genetic Screening, schedule an appointment with the team at Comprehensive by calling 702-952-3350. The physicians at Comprehensive Cancer Centers also provide a variety of treatment options for cancer, should it be detected, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, breast surgery and clinical research.

 

The content is this post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.