The Cancer Institute at UM St. Joseph Medical Center includes genetic counseling as part of its comprehensive list of services. A genetic counselor educates families or individuals about their risk of passing on or inheriting a genetic predisposition for certain disorders. The goal of genetic counseling is to aid the individual’s or his or her family’s understanding of:
- The disorder
- The risks of recurrence
- The options for testing, treatment, or management of the disorder
In most cases, cancer is not related to strong inherited factors. However, a number of cancers are associated with familial syndromes that can increase an individual’s predisposition to develop cancer. During the cancer risk assessment patients will learn more about:
- Their cancer risks
- Potential risks to family members
- Genetic testing for hereditary cancers
- Other screening, management, and treatment options
- Comprehensive family history
- Review of medical history
- Review of possible inheritance patterns
- Discussion of the benefits, risks, and limitations of gene testing
If genetic testing is requested, blood will be drawn and disclosure of the results will be done in person. Patients can expect to have one to two genetic counseling sessions.
For more information about genetic cancer risk assessment, call 410-427-5585.