Genetic Testing at the Paqui and Brian Kelly Comprehensive Breast Center

Cancer early detection and prevention starts with knowing your risk .

Cancer occurs in about one in three adults in their lifetime. Many people have a family history of cancer, but only 5 - 10 percent of cancer is hereditary. People who have inherited gene mutations are born with them – they do not develop over time.

Genetic counseling and testing are available to determine if you and your family may be at risk for a hereditary cancer. There are multiple genes associated with increased risks for cancer. Each gene is associated with a unique combination of cancers and levels of risk. Which genes are included in your test is determined by your and your family’s history. A genetic counselor can explain your result and the implications it has for you and your family.

Benefits of genetic testing include:

  • Your cancer-screening plan can be customized for you based on your results (for example, mammogram, breast MRI, prostate exam, dermatology exam).
  • You may have cancer-prevention options, such as preventive surgery, to reduce your risk (for example, removing one or both breasts or the ovaries and Fallopian tubes before a cancer occurs).
  • If you have cancer, you may benefit from a targeted cancer treatment. Your provider can discuss other personalized treatment options based on your test results.

If any of the following is true, you or a family member may wish to consider hereditary cancer genetic testing:

  • You/your family members (blood relatives) have been diagnosed with cancer at a young age (< 50 years old).
  • You/your family members have been diagnosed with more than one cancer.
  • You/your family members have been diagnosed with cancers/tumors that you have been told are usually rare, such as ovarian cancer or male breast cancer.
  • Multiple people on the same side of your family have had the same type of cancer.
  • Any of your family members has been found to have a cancer gene mutation.

Your healthcare provider may identify other reasons why you may want to have genetic testing.

The Saint Joseph Health System Genetics & Risk Assessment Center offers comprehensive cancer genetic counseling by licensed, certified genetic counselors who collaborate with physicians in varying specialties. For more information on genetic testing or to schedule an appointment, contact the center at 574.335.7754.


Posted on October 29, 2018