Fox Chase offers a Risk Assessment Program for individuals and families at risk for cancer and those with cancer—including cancers of the breast, ovaries, prostate, skin and colon. Our team of physicians, nurses and genetic counselors provides clinical and genetic evaluation and testing, screening and cancer risk-reduction services.
Genetics and Risk Assessment
Cancer risk assessment looks at personal and family risk factors that may put you at higher risk for cancer. Knowing your risk helps you learn what you can do to lower your chances of getting cancer.
Some of the reasons for having cancer risk assessment are:
- To understand if cancer runs in your family
- To learn if cancer has been caused by an inherited genetic change
- To see if genetic testing will be of value to you or your family
- To find out your risk for cancer
- To learn what you can do about your risk for cancer
Genetic testing is a blood test that looks for changes, also called alterations or mutations, in genes. These changes can cause disease or place someone at higher risk for getting a certain disease, such as cancer. Sometimes these gene changes can be passed from parent to child.
Genetic testing, as part of cancer risk assessment, is done in specialized laboratories by trained professionals.
How can genetic testing be helpful?
- It can tell you if you did inherit a specific genetic change
- It can tell you if you did not inherit a specific genetic change
- It can help explain your risk for getting cancer
- It can help you better understand what you can do to lower your risk for cancer
- If you have just been diagnosed with cancer, it can help with your treatment plan
- If you already have cancer, it can help you learn your risk for a second cancer
- It can help your family members learn if they have inherited a specific genetic change
- It may be able to help explain other family members' test results
Your cancer risk counselor will help you learn more about what genetic testing can tell you.