Cancer Genetic Counseling
Most cancers are not hereditary. For those 5-10 percent of cancers that are passed from generation to generation, genetic cancer counseling can literally be a life-saver. The cancer genetic counseling service at the Greenwood Genetic Center begins with a careful evaluation of your medical and family history. If the counselor suspects that the cancer in your family is inherited they will discuss recommendations for cancer screening as well as the risks, benefits, and limitations of genetic testing.
Benefits of Genetic Cancer Counseling
Taking the steps to learn if you are at risk for hereditary cancers takes courage. Not every patient who receives a consultation decides to have genetic testing. For those that do, a negative result may bring relief and reduce the need for frequent checkups or other tests that individuals with a high risk of cancer typically undergo. However, a positive result can also bring a feeling of empowerment. Removing the uncertainty about your risk of cancer may lead to a healthier lifestyle with a focus on preventive measures.
The genetic counselors at GGC understand the experience can be an emotional one. We provide education, resources, and ongoing support as part of our commitment to patient care.
Who Should Receive Genetic Cancer Counseling?
You may benefit from cancer genetic counseling if:
- You are under the age of 50 and have been diagnosed with breast, ovarian, colon, endometrial, or renal cancer.
- You have multiple relatives with the same or related cancers.
- You or a family member has been diagnosed with more than one type of cancer such as breast and ovarian, bilateral breast cancer or colon and endometrial cancer.
- There has been cancer in more than one generation of your family.
- You have a rare type of cancer that is more common in the other gender, such as breast cancer in a male.
- You have breast or ovarian cancer and are a member of certain ethnic backgrounds, such as Ashkenazi Jewish.
It’s important to remember that participating in cancer genetic counseling does not obligate you to have genetic testing. The goal of genetic counseling is to provide accurate information about risk factors and to address your questions and concerns. And for those who do proceed with testing, a positive test is not a guarantee that cancer will develop. It is possible to test positive for gene mutation and still live cancer-free.
Learn more about cancer genetic counseling at the Greenwood Genetic Center by contacting our Greenwood office or fill out our contact form and we’ll reach out to you as quickly as possible.