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Cancer Genetic Testing

A majority of cancers occur by chance and arise in those with no strong family history of cancer. But some families carry a greater risk for certain types of cancers. Sometimes the risk is rooted in genetics and other times, family history. Sometimes both. But just because someone carries a greater risk of cancer doesn’t mean he or she will get it. At the Hendricks Regional Health High Risk Prevention Clinic, we can help you evaluate both types of risks to determine if you should take preventative action.

» Genetic Risk Evaluation

The genetic risk evaluation is a blood test that screens for over 20 genes across 8 important cancer types including breast, ovarian, colorectal, uterine, melanoma, pancreatic, stomach and prostate.

» Tyrer-Cuzick Risk Assessment

This assessment evaluates your personal, as well as family, risk factors (a history of cancer). If your risk is determined to be high enough, increased monitoring such as extra screenings will be recommended.

By understanding what’s in a patient’s past (such as their family history), we can help them have a healthier future. In many cases, these tests are covered by medical insurance because they have been proven to improve patient outcomes.

Protect Yourself and Your Family

Hereditary cancer carries a risk that is passed down through generations by the inheritance of altered genes or gene mutations. Families with hereditary cancer may be at risk for more than one type of cancer, and family members may have cancers at an earlier than average age.

Abnormal genes associated with hereditary cancers may increase cancer risk in other relatives.

Hereditary cancer screening and genetic testing are important first steps in identifying future cancer risks and developing the best possible preventative treatment plan. These tests not only benefit the person having them done, they benefit the whole family.

Preventative Treatments

If genetic testing and/or a Tyrer-Cuzick risk assessment reveal that you have a hereditary predisposition to cancer, the Hendricks Regional Health High Risk Prevention Clinic will work with you to develop a preventative plan that is tailored to your specific case. It may include the following options:

» Increased Cancer Screenings
If you’re at risk for breast cancer, in addition to an annual mammogram, you will also receive an annual MRI. By overlapping these tests, we can make sure you are being tested every six months. If a screening reveals a positive cancer result, it is often detected early and at a very low stage.

» Additional Specialists
We test for more than just breast cancer. For patients at risk for multiple cancers or cancers such as colon cancer, we will add specialists to their preventative teams to help them better monitor their risks.

» Preventative Surgery
For patients that test positive for abnormal genes which will likely produce either breast or ovarian cancers, preventative surgery is an option to remove the portion of the body at risk before it turns cancerous.

Who is Considered High-Risk

» Multiple: A combination of cancers on the same side of the family:

  • 2 or more: breast / ovarian / prostate / pancreatic cancer, or
  • 2 or more: colorectal / uterine / ovarian / stomach / pancreatic / other cancers, or
  • 2 or more: melanoma / pancreatic cancer

» Young: Any breast, colon or uterine cancers at the age of 50 or younger.

» Rare: Any one of these rare presentations at any age:

  • Ovarian cancer, male breast cancer or triple-negative breast cancer, 10 or more gastrointestinal polyps

Have members of your family battled cancer? Contact the Hendricks Regional Health Breast Center to help determine your risk.

Managing Hereditary Risk

Our focus is to develop prevention strategies to take action against hereditary risk.

  • Identifying the risks for hereditary cancer can ensure that your cancer screenings and prevention program are individualized to your personal risk factors.
  • Possible risk management recommendations may include close and continuous observation and testing including increasing annual surveillance with a breast MRI annually in addition to a mammogram.

Together we can learn from your past and define your future.

Read Senga's Story

A high-risk preventative plan of action, including annual 3D mammograms and semi-annual breast MRIs, allowed Senga’s breast cancer to be caught and treated early. Read about Senga’s journey and how preventative measures saved her life.

For more information on hereditary cancer testing, contact us today:

(317) 718-9000