Who Should Consider Genetic Counseling or Risk Assessment?

The most common hereditary cancers are breast, colon, uterine, and ovarian cancer. Being aware of your personal and family cancer history as well as knowing the red flags of hereditary cancer are important parts of understanding your risks for cancer and potential tools for cancer prevention and early detection.

If you or a close relative has had:

  • Certain types of cancer at a young age (under age 50) such as breast or colon cancer
  • Multiple primary cancers (new cancers) or bilateral cancer (cancer on both sides of paired organs, i.e. both breasts, kidneys, ovaries)
  • Two or more close relatives with cancer, especially of the same type
  • A relative who is a known carrier of an inherited gene mutation
  • Concern about your family history of cancer

If you are concerned that cancer may run in your family, genetic counseling can be useful to determine if genetic testing is right for you. Genetic counseling includes an assessment of your cancer risk based on your family history and how genetic testing may impact you and your family members.

We do not inherit cancer – we can inherit an increased risk for cancer.