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Upstate Cancer Center Genetics Program

The Upstate Cancer Center Genetics Program provides genetic counseling and related services to individuals and families with or at risk for hereditary cancer, such as for breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer, kidney cancer among other cancers.

Hereditary risk for cancer and why it's important for you to know

Most cancers do not have a hereditary cause. However, in some families, a hereditary gene alteration increases a person’s likelihood of developing certain cancers. Individuals and family members at increased risk for cancer may benefit from earlier screening and/or ways to reduce risk.

What is Cancer Genetic Counseling?

Genetic counseling is an educational and support process that provides hereditary cancer risk assessment based on detailed medical and family history, information about genetic testing, and cancer risk management options.

Is Genetic Counseling right for you?

If you have a personal or close family history of at least one of the following, you may wish to consider genetic counseling.

Please note that this provides examples and does not include all indications for a genetic consultation. It is important that you review your family history with your doctor.

  • A known hereditary cancer risk gene alteration in the family.
  • A person with cancer at an earlier age than is typical, such as breast, colon, uterine, or kidney cancer under age 50.
  • A person with more than one new (primary) tumor. This includes someone with cancer in both of paired organs (bilateral) such as both breasts or both kidneys, or a person with more than one primary cancer in the same or different organs.
  • A person with certain or rare cancers or tumors, such as ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer, male breast cancer, medullary thyroid cancer, high risk prostate cancer, paraganglioma.
  • A person with excessive colon polyps (growths in the large bowel).
  • A family with more than one close blood relative from the same side of the family with a similar type of cancer or cancers spanning multiple generations.
  • A combination of certain cancers in the family which may be suggestive of an inherited cancer gene. This is not always obvious and should be discussed with your physician.
  • Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jewish ancestry and a personal or family history of breast, ovarian, pancreatic, high risk prostate cancer.

 

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