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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.

» Cancer Genetic Risk Online Assessment
MyGeneHistory is a simple questionnaire that asks you about your personal and family cancer histories. Your answers are then compared with national guidelines for hereditary cancer, which informs your healthcare provider if you qualify for hereditary cancer testing. Let's begin.

» 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.

City of Hope Trained

Jenni Pierle, MSN, FNP-C, Prevention and Survivorship Specialist

The Hendricks Regional Health High Risk Prevention Clinic is fortunate to have one of the only three medical professionals in Indiana who’ve completed the prestigious City of Hope intensive course in cancer risk assessment. Prevention and Survivorship Specialist Jenni Pierle is part of an international group of only 600 professionals who have completed this course. This gives us a much deeper understanding of cancer risk assessments and allows us to tap into the City of Hope’s network of community-based clinicians around the world.

Jenni understands what high-risk patients are going through, not just because of her City of Hope training, but because she is a high-risk patient herself.

"I have a great passion for working with patients with cancer and then also patients that have a very high risk of cancer. I am a high-risk patient myself. I have a mom that was diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age, so I know how scary it can be for those patients."
—Jenni Pierle, MSN, FNP-C, Prevention and Survivorship Specialist

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? Use our online My Risk Assessment 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.

Hereditary Cancer Gene Testing

For a personal account on discovering and dealing with hereditary cancer, read Debbie’s story. After testing positive for the BRCA1 gene mutation, she underwent a double mastectomy to minimize her risk for developing breast cancer in the future.

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

(317) 718-9000