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Cancer Genetic Risk Assessment Program

Hereditary Cancer Genetic Testing and Counseling in Fort Myers

Cancer is a common disease with complex causes, many of which are not completely understood. Recent advances in cancer genetics have led to the identification of genes that, when altered, cause a significantly increased risk for certain cancers. Although most cases of cancer are not due to single, inherited gene alterations, a small percentage are part of hereditary cancer syndromes.

About Hereditary Cancer

Cancer is a complex disease caused by many factors. Advances in cancer research have found changes in specific genes linked to higher cancer risk. Only 5-10% of cancers are found to have a hereditary component. 

Here are several characteristics frequently observed in hereditary cancer syndromes:

  • Clustering of certain types of cancer in a family
  • Cancer occurring at younger ages 
  • Cancer in more than one generation
  • Multiple cancer types diagnosed in a single individual 
  • Individuals with rare cancers, such as male breast cancers or medullary thyroid cancer

Is Cancer Risk Counseling Right For You?

If you are concerned about your risk of cancer, cancer risk counseling by specialized health care professionals can help you better understand your risks and the options available to you and your family. What you will learn:

  • Education about cancer genetics and cancer risk
  • Individuals and family cancer risk assessments
  • Guidance about whether genetic testing is appropriate
  • Discussion in detail of the risks, benefits, implications, and limitations of genetic testing

Are You At Risk For Hereditary Cancer?

The answers to the following questions help to identify people who may be at risk for hereditary cancer:

  • In your mother’s or father’s family, including you, have two people related by blood who had the same type of cancer?
  • Including yourself, has anyone in your family had cancer in matching organs?
  • Including yourself, has anyone in your family had cancer at age 50 or younger?
  • Including yourself, has anyone in your family had two different cancers that began in two different organs?

If you answered “yes” to any of the questions above, you may want more information about genetics counseling. Please call the genetics counselor at the Lee Health Cancer Institute for an appointment at 239-343-9512.

Cancer Genetic Testing in Fort Myers and Estero

The Lee Health Cancer Institute is helping patients all around Florida. If you are traveling from Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero, Cape Coral, Fort Myers, or Port Charlotte, we can help you navigate the next steps in treatment options.

Our Genetic Risk Services Offer

  • Individual and family risk assessment
  • Guidance regarding whether or not genetic testing is appropriate for you
  • Detailed education about implications and limitations of genetic testing
  • Counseling related to available options that you may discuss with your physician
  • Information on health promotion and cancer risk reduction
  • Testing for Hereditary Cancer Syndromes

Our Counseling Includes the Following:

  • Collecting medical and family history
  • Sharing cancer genetics info and test results
  • Talking about screening options and their pros and cons
  • Offering genetic testing with consent
  • Reviewing genetic test findings with you

Syndromes Often Seen In Hereditary Cancer

Syndromes Include the Following:

  • Clustering of certain types of cancer in a family
  • Cancer occurring at younger ages
  • Cancer in more than one generation
  • More than one type of cancer in the same individual
  • Individuals with rare cancers, such as male breast cancers or medullary thyroid cancer

How Does A Hereditary Cancer Evaluation Benefit You?

  • Gain a more accurate estimate of your personal cancer risk
  • Decrease worry—individuals often overestimate their own cancer risk
  • Increase the chance of early cancer detection
  • Become aware, in some cases, of increased risks for more than one type of cancer
  • Gather information to make the best decisions for yourself
  • Identify family members who have an increased risk of cancer
  • Gain reassurance, in some cases, that you and your family members are not at risk of cancer and do not need extra cancer screening

What Does Genetic Counseling Include?

  • Obtaining your medical and family histories and drawing a detailed pedigree–family tree
  • Giving you information on cancer genetics, risk and the results of testing
  • Discussing courses of action and choices for cancer screening to reduce risk, as well as their associated benefits, risks and limitations
  • Discussing, when appropriate, the option of genetic testing for cancer susceptibility genes
  • Obtaining informed consent and drawing a small amount of blood if genetic testing is chosen
  • Reviewing with you the results of your genetics test

What Can I Expect During My Visit?

You may contact us by phone at 239-343-9512 to schedule an appointment. Or, if your physician referred you, then you will receive a call from our office after we receive the referral to schedule an appointment. Knowing your family’s medical history is extremely helpful, so gather as much information as you can prior to your appointment.

At your appointment, we will answer any questions you may have about our services. Your first visit may last between 60- 90 minutes, depending on your individual needs. Subsequent visits, if needed, are usually shorter. Knowing your risk gives you the power to make informed decisions about your health.

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