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One in three people develop cancer at some point in their lives, so it's not unusual for someone in a family to have or have had cancer of some kind. A family history of cancer does not mean you will develop cancer yourself, as inherited cancers are rare. However, when there is a family history of cancer, our Metro Denver genetic counseling services can help determine
if you are at a higher risk of hereditary cancer and if there are preventative and screening steps that should be implemented. Genetic counseling is the first step in this process and can help you determine if undergoing genetic testing would be helpful for your individual situation.
Cancer is more likely to be an
and you may benefit from genetic counseling services, if:
At St. Anthony Hospital Hereditary Cancer Services, a
genetic counseling session is approximately one hour with a board
certified genetic counselor and includes:
A family history of cancer does not mean you will develop cancer yourself.
If family history of cancer causes you concern about your own risk for inherited cancer, you may benefit from a genetic counseling appointment. Often there are fears associated with learning about the risk of cancer, but keep in mind inherited cancer is rare and a genetic counseling session can provide valuable information for screening and prevention, as well as give you the information you need to decide whether you should consider genetic testing.
Cancer is more likely to be inherited if:
If your family history falls into one or more of these categories, you may benefit from genetic counseling.
How genetic counseling can help you?
Is genetic counseling the same as genetic testing?
Genetic counseling is the first step towards genetic lab testing. Information gathered during genetic counseling helps determine if genetic lab testing would be helpful in your situation.
If you and the genetic counselor determine you want to move forward with genetic testing, the counselor will arrange for the necessary lab testing.
A genetic counseling session includes:
Genetic Testing involves:
What is an inherited cancer?Inherited cancer is caused by changes in certain genes. Genes are the instructions that our bodies use to grow and function. Genes and gene changes are passed from parents to children. A family history of cancer does not mean you will develop cancer yourself. Inherited cancers are rare. Only five to 10 percent of people with cancer have a type that is caused by inherited gene changes.
Common hereditary cancers include:
How can you find out if a cancer is inherited? You can make a genetic counseling appointment to review your concerns and find out your risks for an inherited cancer. This appointment is a health education session with a Master's trained and board certified genetic counselor.
Will insurance pay for genetic testing? Most insurance companies will cover the cost of a genetic lab test if it will improve a person’s medical care and they have a reasonable chance of having an inherited cancer condition.
If I have genetic testing, will I be discriminated against? Federal and state laws help protect people undergoing genetic testing against health insurance discrimination and employment discrimination. The Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA) is a federal law passed in 2008. For more information visit:geneticfairness.org/ginaresource.html or view a fact sheet:
I already have cancer. How can genetic counseling help me? Some inherited gene changes cause several types of cancer. Genetic counseling and testing may determine if you are at risk for another type of cancer in the future. You can then consider ways to prevent other cancers. Many people with cancer seek genetic counseling and testing to help their relatives. The risk of cancer for your relatives is based on the results of your genetic evaluation.
What questions are asked in a genetic counseling appointment?
Once you have scheduled your appointment with the Genetic Counseling Clinic, you will need to complete our online family history questionnaire prior to your appointment. Completing this questionnaire allows your genetic counselor to be better prepared for your appointment and to provide you with a more accurate risk assessment.
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