Many cases of cancer can be associated with a random mutation, an unhealthy lifestyle, harmful habits, exposure to environmental carcinogens, or certain viruses. However, in 5 to 10% of cases, the risk for developing a particular cancer is inherited. Genetic testing determines if a person’s genetic makeup increases the risk for types of cancer, or if an existing cancer is the result of an inherited gene mutation.
If your family history includes the following, genetic testing may be recommended:
A certified genetic counselor will help you and your family members navigate and understand this process. Using the information gathered from your personal and family medical histories, your genetic counselor will explain the available tests and what you can expect from the results. Part of the discussion will also include the psychological and emotional impact of testing positive for an inherited type of cancer.
In addition to helping you and your family understand and cope with the outcomes of genetic testing. Your genetic counselor will also provide guidance and information about cancer screening, prevention, and treatment options, as indicated.