I Think I Might be at Risk. What Can I do?
If you think you might be at risk for an inherited cancer, it's a good idea to meet with a genetics counselor. He or she will review your family medical history, talk to you about the role of genetics in cancer and perform a hereditary cancer risk assessment. This assessment will cover:
- Your chances of having a genetic mutation
- Personalized genetic testing recommendations
- A general estimate of your personal cancer risks
- Individualized cancer screening and prevention recommendations
Based on your cancer risk assessment, the genetic counselor may recommend that you undergo genetic testing. This simply involves having blood drawn. The results may help determine whether members of your family face higher risks for certain types of cancer.
Keep in mind that genetic testing isn't for everyone. It involves many ethical, legal and social issues that require careful consideration. By having a genetic counselor evaluate your family history, you can make a more informed decision about whether genetic testing may be appropriate for you or your family.