Genetic Counseling & Hereditary Cancer Services
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 inherited cancer and you may benefit from genetic counseling services, if:
- Two or more blood relatives have the same type of cancer. (Except cervical, lung or skin cancer.)
- Breast, colon, uterine, rectal cancer was diagnosed before age 50
- The cancer is ovarian, fallopian tube or peritoneal cancer
- The cancer is a rare type, such breast cancer in a man
- The cancer develops in both breasts, both kidneys
- A single family member has developed more than one type of cancer; for example a woman with uterine and colon cancer (except cervical, lung or skin cancer).
At St. Anthony Hospital Hereditary Cancer Services, a genetic counseling session is approximately one hour with a board certified genetic counselor and includes:
- Recording a detailed family history
- Using family history information to:
- Estimate your risk to develop cancer
- Estimate the risk of an inherited cancer in your family
- Discussing ways to screen for and prevent cancer based on your risks
- Reviewing the pros and cons of genetic lab testing
- Deciding if genetic testing is right for you, given your particular risks and concerns
If you have further questions about hereditary cancer services, please contact the genetic counselor.