What is Genetic Testing / Genetic Counseling?
Fore warned is fore armed. Many people believe that cancer strikes randomly, but that’s not always true. Cancer is genetic, but not always hereditary. Millennium’s Genetic Testing, Screening and Prevention Program is designed to help you understand more about your personal cancer risks. Genetic testing is a powerful tool, and raises many important issues for individuals and their families. The following are some indicators that you might be at a genetic risk for cancer:
• Cancer at an early age
• More than one generation with cancers
• Same type of cancer in at least two closely related relatives
• Multiple primaries (more than one type of cancer in the same person)
• Bilateral disease (cancer occurring in both sides of a paired organ, e.g., cancer in both breasts)
• Multifocal disease (many primary tumors arising in the same organ)
• Rare cancers clustered in the same side of the family
• Breast & ovarian cancer in the same side of the family
• Breast cancer that occurs in a male
• Colon and uterine cancer in the same side of the family
• Multiple colo-gastrointestinal polyps in a young individual.
In hereditary cancer, the genes involved with cancer can come from either side of the family. Thus, a cancer gene trait may be passed to a daughter through her father who did not have cancer. Accurately interpreting family history information is an essential aspect of genetic counseling. We offer a comprehensive cancer risk assessment that focuses on family history and genetics, taking into account environmental and lifestyle factors. Following this assessment, the program provides concrete steps you can take to lower these risks.