Genetic testing can provide not only peace of mind but also suggest strategies for prevention, early detection, and treatment. Genetic counselors will review your family’s cancer-risk profile. If that history suggests a higher than normal degree of risk, we may suggest genetic testing to seek out known gene mutations that leave you and your children vulnerable to certain types of cancer. These mutations cause cancer in many organs, including the breast, ovaries, prostate, thyroid, kidney, bladder, colon, liver, stomach, skin, eye and pineal gland.
Testing is done on a small amount of body tissue or fluid, such as blood, saliva or the amniotic fluid surrounding a fetus. An appointment will be scheduled to discuss the results when they are available. A positive test does not guarantee that you will get the cancer, but it does enable you or your loved one to be screened at regular intervals.
Who May Benefit from Genetic Counseling?
If you have a personal history or family history of any of the following features, you are a good candidate for genetic counseling:
- Breast, colorectal, or uterine cancer diagnosed under age 50
- Ovarian cancer, male breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, or metastatic prostate cancer at any age
- Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry with a personal or family history of cancer
- Several close relatives with the same type of cancer on the same side of the family
- Families with a combination of the following cancers: Colon, rectal, stomach, endometrial, uterine, kidney, ureter, pancreas, or small intestine
- Ten or more colon polyps
- Rare tumor types (e.g. sarcomas, medullary thyroid cancer, etc.)
If you have questions about genetic counseling, please call (805) 219-4673.