Hereditary Cancer Clinic
At our Hereditary Cancer Clinic, we help you and your family learn more about your cancer. Genetic testing can uncover important information such as what type of treatment may work best for your cancer, if your cancer has a high risk of coming back in the future or if your family members are also at risk of cancer.
Our certified genetic counselors will meet with you and your family to discuss your results. We’ll help you make a treatment plan to protect your health and the health of those you love. For instance, if you have a hereditary breast cancer, your mother, sister(s) or daughter(s) may also choose to get screenings for breast cancer.
To help you get the best treatment possible, your genetic counselor will also discuss your results with your cancer care team. If you have certain hereditary cancers, you might benefit from more extensive surgery or from different types of chemotherapy that are more effective for hereditary cancers.
We understand that all of this information can feel overwhelming. We will be with you every step of the way to make your cancer journey as easy as we can.
Only 5% to 10% of cancers are hereditary. You might inherit a greater risk for certain types of cancer, including:
- Breast cancer
- Colon cancer
- Melanoma (skin cancer)
- Ovarian cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Uterine cancer
These cancers aren’t always caused by a genetic factor. Your family medical history and genetic testing can help you determine if you inherited this type of cancer.
Before your appointment, we will email you a confidential link to complete an online personal and family cancer history questionnaire. Please complete this form and bring it with you to your genetic counseling appointment.
At your first appointment, you will meet with a board-certified genetic counselor – a health professional with specialized training in genetics. The appointment usually lasts 30-90 minutes. During the appointment, your genetic counselor will talk to you about your family history of cancer, the risks and benefits of genetic testing, and the costs.
If you decide to have testing done, a lab technician will draw a blood sample or take a saliva sample with a cotton swab. This sample will be sent to a lab to study your DNA. Your genetic counselor will receive your results within two weeks and set up an appointment to discuss your results with you.