Cancer is a condition triggered by mutations (changes) in the genes of a cell that result in uncontrolled, abnormal cell growth. Some families have gene mutations that are passed down from one generation to the next.  Genetic testing may help you determine if your cancer is due to an inherited gene mutation and if you are at an increased risk of developing cancer.

What to Expect

You will initially meet with a cancer genetic counselor at FVHO to review a detailed family history and discuss the implications of genetic testing. This includes a discussion of the advantages of genetic testing, cost of testing, and deciding which type of test fits you best.

If you agree to proceed, you will have a blood test drawn at the FVHO lab. From there it is sent out to a specialty lab facility where the testing takes place. After the results are completed, you will again meet with the genetic counselor to review your results in detail and answer any questions you may have.

Benefits of Genetic Testing

Genetic testing can help you make informed decisions about how to manage future risks of cancer. For example, if it is determined that you are at greater risk than the “average” patient for breast cancer recurrence, we may recommend adding breast MRIs to your routine screenings. Test results can also be of great value to blood related family members. A negative result on a genetic test may help relieve anxiety or uncertainty.