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A cancer diagnosis affects the whole family. It’s always an emotional time, but some families share more than emotions. About 5-10% of cancers are “inherited.” This means the cancer is caused, in part, by an inherited gene change that several relatives may carry. Healthy carriers have increased risks for cancer in the future. Carriers with cancer now may be at risk for other cancers. New cancers may occur in the same organ as the first cancer, or in different organs.
How do you find out if the cancer in your family is the inherited type?
A cancer genetic counselor may help answer this question. Genetic counselors:
Use your medical and family history to determine the likelihood of inherited cancer in your family. Help you decide if genetic lab testing is right for you. This includes discussing pros and cons of lab testing, and finding out if your insurance will pay for the lab work.
Individuals with an inherited cancer predisposition may have many options to reduce their cancer risk:
Most cancer is not inherited. But if you are concerned about cancer in your family, call us. We can help you decide if a genetic risk assessment would be helpful for you and your relatives. Call 719-557-4252 or 719-776-5279 to schedule an appointment, or ask about our services.
For more information read our
Hereditary Cancer Brochure.
Kate CrowBefore her 14-year career as a genetic counselor, Kate Crow served as a public health administrator in Kansas City, Missouri, and volunteered as an interpretive ranger at the Great Sand Dunes. She received her B.S. in microbiology from Kansas State University, then earned her M.S. in genetic counseling at Indiana University.
Her first genetic counseling job combined duties as the Oregon State Genetics Coordinator and as a clinical genetic counselor at Oregon Health and Sciences University. She also has eight years of experience in prenatal, pediatric and adult genetics.
Elena began her career as a genetic counselor in 1994 at Boston University Center for Human Genetics, providing prenatal genetic counseling and risk assessment. Since then she has provided counseling for prenatal, pediatric, and adult genetics before joining Penrose Cancer Center in 2010. Elena received her B.S. from the University of Colorado before receiving her Master of Science in Genetic Counseling at the University of Colorado Health Science Center.
If you would like to be seen at the Genetic Counseling Clinic, please ask your physician for a referral.
You can call Cancer Center Scheduling at 719-557-5701 to schedule an appointment but a referral will be needed before you are seen.
You will be asked to complete a family history questionnaire prior to your appointment.
Dorcy Cancer Center at St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center2004 Lake Avenue Pueblo, CO 81004
If you have questions or if you would like to make an appointment, please feel free to contact our genetic counseling support:
Genetic Counseling Support
The Dorcy Cancer Center Genetic Counseling Clinic is held at:
St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center
2004 Lake Avenue
Pueblo, CO 81004
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