What is Genetic Testing for Cancer?
Genetic Counseling is the collection of your detailed personal and family history in order to assess your personal risk and discuss genetic testing options. Through blood and tissue tests Franciscan Health’s genetic counselors identify genetic disorders and obtain a more precise estimate of your cancer risk.
When to consider genetic testing for cancer
Genetic counseling is typically recommended for people who have a person and/or family history suggestive of a hereditary cancer condition. You may want to consider genetic counseling if you or a close relative have had any of the following:
- Two or more close relatives on the same side of the family with cancer, especially of the same type
- Cancer at a young age (under age 50)
- More than one diagnosis of cancer in the same individual, such as breast and ovarian, or colon and uterine cancer
- Rare cancers, such as male breast cancer
- One or more relatives with a known hereditary cancer gene mutation
Your meeting with a genetic counselor
Your meeting with one of Franciscan Health’s genetic counselors is a multistep process and typically includes:
- A detailed review of your medical and family history
- Assessment of your and your family’s risks of developing cancer
- An explanation of your genetic test results and options for cancer screening, prevention and treatment options, such as mammograms, colonoscopies or preventive surgeries
This may require more than one appointment. For expecting mothers, your physician may recommend Prenatal Genetic Testing.