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What is a Genetic Risk Assessment?

Individuals are considered to be candidates for cancer genetic risk assessment if they have a personal and/or family history (maternal or paternal) with features suggestive of hereditary cancer. These features vary by type of cancer and specific hereditary syndrome.

Inherited predisposition to cancer include multiple family members with the same or related cancer types, cancers being diagnosed at an early age, and individuals being diagnosed with more than one cancer in their lifetime.

Questions you can expect:

  • Discussion of your family and medical history information with particular attention to cancers
  • A pedigree, or a precise outline of your family’s history of cancer
  • Risk assessment, including consideration of inherited, environmental, and lifestyle risks
  • Discussion of cancer prevention options and screening
  • Review of genetic testing options
  • Consultation with other specialists as needed
  • Follow-up care

What is genetic testing?

picture of cancer geneticsGenetic testing is a type of medical test that look at your genes, which are the DNA instructions you inherit from your mother and your father. The results of a genetic test can confirm or rule out a suspected genetic condition or help to determine a person’s chance of developing or passing on a genetic disorder. Genetic testing is performed on either a blood or saliva (collected with mouthwash) specimen.

What genetic tests are available for cancer risk?

Current genetics tests are available to evaluate if a person has inherited a mutated gene that might lead to an early development of certain cancers. Tests include:

  • BRACAnalysis: Genes: BRCA1, BRCA2Hereditary breast cancer and ovarian cancer
  • COLARIS: a genetic test for hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPPC)
  • COLARIS AP: a genetic test for adenomatous polyposis syndromes

For more information please call, Cancer Care Center of Decatur, Cancer Care Specialists of Illinois, 217-876-6600.

Genetic Testing for Inherited Breast, Ovarian and Colorectal Cancer

The Hereditary Cancer Risk offers patient education, testing, interpretation of genetic testing results and discussion of options for managing breast and ovarian cancer.

Who should consider genetic testing for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer? Your doctor can help decide which testing is best for you.

  • A personal or family history of cancer at a young age. Generally, prior to age 50
  • Two or more primary cancers in an individual (bilateral breast cancer)
  • A pattern of cancer in which the individuals with similar or related cancers are on one side of the family spanning multiple generations
  • A personal or family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer along with Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry
  • A personal or family history of ovarian, primary peritoneal, fallopian tube, or male breast cancer, regardless of age.


Watch our video “Is Genetic Testing For Hereditary Breast & Ovarian Cancer Right For You?

Understanding Genetic Testing for Cancer

The Genetics of Cancer

Genetic Home Reference: Genes – Explore the normal functions of human genes and health implication of genetic changes.