If someone in your family has been diagnosed with cancer or you are concerned that cancer runs in your family, you may want to be tested. About 5 to 10 percent of all cancers are considered to be hereditary. And approximately 30 percent of cancer cases occur in families with close relatives who have experienced similar cancers.
Board-certified Genetic Counselors at Moncrief Cancer Institute in Fort Worth will analyze your family history and assess your hereditary cancer risk. Depending on their analysis, it may not be you, but a particular family member who would be the best candidate to undergo testing. The process usually involves a blood test which could provide valuable prevention information for you and your family.
Below you’ll find answers to some of the more commonly asked questions. But if you’d like more information on our Genetic Testing program, or would like to schedule an appointment, please call 214-645-2563.
Have you ever wondered, "Am I at risk?"
An inherited risk for cancer is higher when:
- Cancer is diagnosed at an unusually young age
- There is the same type of cancer in multiple close relatives
- You or a family member are of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry (Eastern or Central European descent) and have either breast or ovarian cancer
- You or a family member have a rare cancer/tumor, such as a sarcoma, male breast cancer, medullary thyroid cancer, or a pheochromocytoma
- You have a family history with a combination of breast and ovarian cancers or colon and uterine cancers
- You have more than 20 colon polyps
- You or a family member have had multiple different kinds of cancer
How will a genetic counselor help me?
Our genetic counselors provide a personalized cancer screening and a written risk assessment. The evaluation takes about an hour and includes:
- A detailed family medical history
- A review of risk factors that include the inherited nature of cancer, environment, lifestyle and diet
- Genetic tests when indicated and interpretation of the results
- Recommended screenings and medical interventions, if necessary
- Referral to resources for follow-up care and support
Moncrief Cancer Institute is affiliated with UT Southwestern's Genetic Risk Assessment Service, which is the only research-based clinical program in the Dallas/Fort Worth area to offer testing and counseling for all identified types of cancer, including pediatric cancers.
To schedule an appointment, call 214-645-2563.