The Morgan Pressel Center for Cancer Genetics at Lynn Cancer Institute provides expert genetic counseling and testing. Using detailed family history and the latest genetic tests, our team can help reduce cancer’s impact on you and your family.
Inherited genetic mutations cause approximately 5 to 10 percent of cancers. Our genetics program at Lynn Cancer Institute can help identify if you have an inherited risk for developing cancer.
If we find that you have an inherited cancer risk, we can work with you to develop a personalized screening and prevention plan.
Who benefits from the cancer genetics program?
Family history can play an important role in cancer risk. With that in mind, you should consider genetic counseling and testing if:
- Two or more of your close blood relatives have had cancer, especially breast, ovarian, pancreatic, prostate, colorectal, uterine or kidney cancer.
- The same type of cancer has occurred in more than one relative on the same side of the family.
- A family member has had more than one type of cancer.
- A family member under age 50 has been diagnosed with cancer.
- A family member has been diagnosed with a rare cancer or tumor.
- A family member has had two or more separate tumors occur in the same organ (for example, breast cancer in both breasts).
You may also want to consider genetic testing if you’ve been diagnosed with multiple types of cancer or if you’ve been diagnosed with cancer before age 50. Certain ancestry groups, such as those with Ashkenazi Jewish heritage, may also be more likely to have inherited cancer risk.
Depending on your risk factors and genetic test results, we may recommend testing your family members, as well.
Why should I have genetic testing?
If you’re thinking about genetic testing, it’s important to have genetic counseling first. Meeting with a genetics expert can help you understand the pros and cons of testing.
If you decide after counseling that genetic testing is right for you, the results can help your care team:
- Develop a more rigorous screening plan that will help your doctor find and detect signs of cancer earlier. When cancer is caught early, it is more likely to be at a treatable or curable stage.
- Prevent certain deadly cancers, such as ovarian cancer, using preventive surgery.
- Identify which family members or offspring may have an increased cancer risk, helping reduce cancer's impact on their lives.
- Determine personalized therapy options that may be more effective in treating your specific type of cancer.
- Learn more about inherited cancer risk, which can contribute to research and improved treatments for future patients.
What does the Lynn Cancer Institute genetics program offer?
Our program has access to all of the latest genetic testing technology and we can provide detailed results that include up-to-date data on gene mutations.
Our highly skilled experts understand how to interpret these complex test results. We’ll explain the results with you in detail and help you make a more informed decision about your care.
If you’re already being treated at Lynn Cancer Institute, our experts may be a part of your multidisciplinary team. Since certain types of cancer, like breast cancer, are more likely to run in families, we’ll gather your family history and determine if you or your family may benefit from genetic testing.
What can patients expect when they come for genetic counseling and testing?
Before your first appointment with our team, we’ll ask you to provide your family history and personal health background. We’ll use an online program that will allow you to do this from home.
When we meet with you, we’ll go over all of this information and discuss whether you may have an inherited cancer risk. If we think testing might be right for you, we’ll talk about the pros and cons of testing.
If you decide to have testing, we’ll ask you to provide a saliva or blood sample. You can provide this during the appointment or we can send a saliva sample kit to your home.
Most genetic test results take between two and four weeks. Once we have the results, we’ll meet with you to go over them in detail. We’ll talk about what they mean, whether there is an increased risk for cancer, and whether other family members should undergo testing.
If we find you have an inherited cancer risk, we’ll work directly with you and your doctor to develop a personalized prevention and screening plan.
Are you at risk?
You have probably heard that family history plays an important role in certain cancers such as breast, ovarian and colon cancer. You may even feel a little safer learning that a gene does not run in your family. With advances in genetics, prevention and early detection, everyone should ask…am I at risk?
Take our Cancer Genetic Risk Assessment
- Have two or more of your close blood relatives had cancer?
- Has the same type of cancer occurred in more than one relative on the same side of the family?
- Has any individual in your family had more than one type of cancer?
- Has cancer been diagnosed in a family member under 50 years of age?
- Has a rare cancer or tumor occurred in an individual or several individuals within your family?
- Have two or more separate tumors occurred in the same organ in any family member (for example, breast cancer in both breasts)?
If you answer yes to any of the above questions, you may want to consider making an appointment at the Morgan Pressel Center for Cancer Genetics with our Oncology Team. The Genetic Advanced Practitioner will take a detailed medical and family history and construct a family tree. A comprehensive assessment of risk and specific genetic risk assessment will be provided to you along with recommendations regarding testing.
A genetic cancer risk assessment provides you with information regarding your risk of cancer based on your personal and family history. You will learn whether or not you are at increased risk, and most importantly, what you can do about it. A genetic test may give you more information about your cancer risk so you can make medical lifestyle choices accordingly-such as increased surveillance and taking steps to reduce your risk. Research now demonstrates that medical advances in technology allow us to offer prevention and lifesaving approaches to high risk individuals. At the center, we will help you in identifying individual genetic risk factors and preventing cancer before it starts.