A cancer risk assessment provides information about how heredity and environmental factors may cause cancer in a family or an individual. A cancer risk consultation with a certified genetic counselor can provide accurate information about cancer risk, cancer screening, and genetic testing. This information can relieve anxiety and provide a sense of control.
A visit with the Capital Health counseling team includes:
- An explanation of how cancer develops and how it is inherited
- A thorough review of your family history
- An assessment of your risk to develop cancer
- An estimation of the likelihood that there is a detectable cancer gene in your family
- A discussion of the risks, benefits, and limitations of genetic testing
- Recommendations for cancer screening
- A comprehensive summary letter
Genetic testing, when indicated, usually involves just a simple blood test. If you are interested in genetic testing, we will work with your insurance company to provide you with information about your coverage and any anticipated out-of-pocket expense before you consent to having the test. After the blood test is drawn, you will receive your results in about two to three weeks in a face-to-face visit, along with recommendations for cancer screening and prevention.
Some people might avoid having a cancer risk assessment because they are afraid that, if they do have an increased risk of cancer, the information might threaten their jobs, insurance, or private lives. Fortunately, state and federal legislation have been, and continue to be, enacted to protect the privacy and rights of people who have been identified as carrying disease associated genetic alterations.