The majority of cancers are considered to be sporadic or occur by chance, and in patients without a family history of cancer. Approximately 10% of cancers are considered to have an underlying hereditary etiology. This happens when individuals are born with germline mutations of specific tumor suppressor genes.
Modern genetic testing utilized Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technology to analyze these genes and determine if a causative mutation may be present. Identifying patients with a hereditary predisposition to cancer may help to inform surgical recommendations, identify patients that could benefit from targeted immunotherapies, inform long-term medical management recommendations, and identify at-risk family members.
National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines advise that anyone with one of the following features may benefit from genetic counseling:
- Women diagnosed under age 50 with breast cancer
- Anyone diagnosed under age 50 with colorectal cancer
- All individuals with ovarian cancer, pancreatic, or metastatic prostate cancer
- All individuals with rare tumor types (paraganglioma/pheochromocytoma, medullary thyroid cancer, chromophobe renal cell carcinoma, etc.)
- Anyone with a family history of any of the above features
Our team of board-certified genetic counselors is also available to meet with patients who have previously undergone genetic testing that identified a pathogenic mutation. We provide genetic counseling to help your patients understand the implications of the test result for themselves and their family members.
Additionally, our GeneHome clinic provides patients with hereditary cancer predisposition syndromes access to long-term care and medical management. The clinic is led by Dr. Xia Wang, a board-certified medical geneticist, and other healthcare professionals.