One in three people develop cancer. There are several factors that affect a person’s risk for cancer.
Occasionally, family history plays an important role in a person’s risk. Cancer genetic counseling helps to assess cancer risk through a variety of tools, including genetic testing. There are benefits to knowing your cancer risk. You can learn more about cancer, early detection and prevention.
Levine Cancer Institute partners with Carolinas Medical Center to provide our Clinical Genetics Program. Through this program, a team of genetic counselors and physicians assist patients, their families, and referring physicians regarding cancer risk factors and recommendations for care.
Cancer Genetics Screening: Who Should Be Referred?
Individuals with a personal or family history of:
- Early onset cancer
- Multiple or bilateral cancers
- A strong family history of two or more relatives with the same type of cancer or related cancers. Some cancers that may be hereditary include: breast, ovarian, colon, thyroid, and gastric cancers, as well as colon polyposis.
Cancer Genetics Appointments: What to Expect
Initial visits are with a genetic counselor in the clinical genetics offices at Carolinas Rehabilitation. Patients may also see a geneticist, if needed. During the visit, we review the following topics:
- The patient's personal and/or family history of cancer
- Genetic concepts and cancer etiology, including hereditary and environmental factors
- Benefits, limitations and risks of genetic testing
- Support in making healthcare decisions
Follow-up visits are held in Levine Cancer Institute with a genetic counselor and a medical oncologist. Topics usually covered at this visit include:
- Results of genetic testing
- Implications of genetic test results for patients and family members
- Assessment of cancer risks
- Recommendations about cancer management, prevention and screening
- Referral to surgical oncologists, gynecological oncologists, and psychosocial support as needed
Where Can I Get More Information?
To schedule an appointment, physicians or families can call the Cancer Genetics program at 704-381-6810.