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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.
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