genetic testing &counseling


Recent research has identified a number of genes related to inherited cancer risk. In fact, estimates suggest that between 5 to 10% of all cancers are due to an inherited gene mutation.

If you carry one of these inherited gene mutations, you may have a significantly higher lifetime risk of developing cancer compared with the general population. By considering personal and family medical histories, a doctor can identify people who could benefit from meeting with a genetic counselor for a hereditary cancer risk assessment.

A genetic test for cancer risk doesn’t reveal the presence or absence of cancer. Instead, it shows whether you have an inherited tendency – predisposition – cancer. Though there aren’t physical risks involved with genetic testing, there can be a psychological impact. That’s why we recommend education and counseling with genetic testing.

risk factors

Genetic counseling for cancer risk assessment may be appropriate for you if you have:

  • Concern or anxiety about personal or family cancer risk
  • Any of the following on your mother's or father's side of the family: early ages of diagnosis, more than one family member (on the same side of the family) with the same cancer, individuals with bilateral cancers or more than one primary cancer, two or more generations of your family affected by cancer
  • A cancer diagnosis along with being of Ashkenazi Jewish decent
  • An interest in genetic testing for cancer genes and would like to discuss cancer risk management options (screening, preventive surgery and chemoprevention)

services & treatment

Aurora genetic counseling provides:

  • Confidential hereditary cancer risk assessment
  • Access to ongoing local and national cancer research studies
  • Education for patients, health care professionals and the community
  • Genetic testing and DNA banking, when appropriate
Genetic counseling assesses your cancer risk, which includes reviewing the pattern and ages of cancer diagnosis in your family and discussing whether those results suggest an inherited predisposition to cancer. We’ll consider basic genetics/inheritance principles, whether the appropriate genetic testing is available, as well as the cost, risks, and benefits testing.

To make an appointment, call Aurora's Cancer Genetic Counseling Program at 877-647-2502. You can also print a genetic counseling referral form for your doctor.
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