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HRC at Regional Urology:

What is hereditary cancer?
 Most cancers are usually developed by chance when gene mutations occur randomly throughout someone’s lifetime. However, some cancers can appear to “run in families” more than others which can be attributed to shared environmental and lifestyles factors such as tobacco use or sun exposure. On the other hand, a small percentage of these cancers are due to a hereditary mutation. This is an inherited mutation in someone’s DNA that can be passed down from parents to their children. When a hereditary mutation is present in someone’s DNA, it does not mean they will certainly get cancer. It means this individual has an increased risk of developing the disease during their lifetime in comparison to the average person. Fortunately, researchers have discovered several genes that can be linked to developing certain types of familial cancers including breast, ovarian, endometrial, pancreatic, colorectal, prostate cancers as well as other atypical cancers. 

Who is at risk?
 Those with personal and/or significant family history of cancer may consider genetic testing
- Cancer diagnosed at young age
- Different types of cancers occurring particularly within the same individual
- Rare cancers such as male breast cancers/ovarian
- Same types of cancers occurring between close relatives
- Certain racial/ethnic group that are known to have increased cancer syndromes

How can this help you and your family?
 If a hereditary mutation is identified, that individual’s cancer screening may be adjusted in comparison to the average person such as colonoscopy every year instead of every ten years, younger starting age for mammograms, male breast exams, etc. In certain cases, this identification can lead to preventative medications and even surgeries such as elective hysterectomy or mastectomy.
This can not only help modify an individual’s cancer screening, but can also give insight to family members and modify their cancer screening as well.

How to make an appointment?
 If you have a personal or family history of cancer and are interested in genetic testing or want to learn more about it, please call our office at 683-0411 and make an appointment with Caitlyn, our PA in our Hereditary Risk Clinic.
We encourage you to fill out the attached Family History Questionnaire. If you answer yes to any question, we recommend you make an appointment with us

What to expect at your visit regarding genetic testing?
 Once you have made an appointment to discuss genetic testing, we will review your personal and family history of cancer together and decide if genetic testing may be beneficial for you.
It is a simple blood test. Results are usually returned within several weeks so a follow up visit is scheduled for 3 to 4 weeks to review your results.
Based your personal results and taking family history into consideration, our care team will help you decide what the next steps should be moving forward.



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