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Climb through your family tree to catch cancer early

Why see a cancer genetic counselor?
Some types of cancer run in families, which presents future generations with a higher risk of having those cancers. If you’ve had cancer at a young age, had two or more separate cancers or have several family members who have battled cancer, you may want to think about genetic counseling and perhaps genetic testing.

A cancer genetic counselor will evaluate your family health history and talk about risks for inherited cancer, as well as screening and management for those at increased risk. If genetic testing is available, the counselor will tell you about the tests and help you decide if testing would be valuable to you.

If you have had cancer, genetic testing may be useful to you and your medical team for making decisions about cancer management.

If you have not had cancer, these assessments can help you understand your risk for cancer and the risks for other members of the family.

In both cases, genetic testing assists you and your medical team in making decisions about cancer screening and cancer prevention methods. It can also provide useful information for your family members about their cancer risks.

A genetic counselor will gladly refer you to support resources for people with cancer, an increased chance of cancer or family histories of cancer.

How can I make an appointment?

If you think genetic counseling is right for you, talk with your primary care doctor about a referral. He or she can help arrange an appointment with an Affinity Health System genetic counselor. You can also call the Affinity Health System Genetics Department at (920) 831-1284.

About Thea Johnson

Thea Johnson provides genetic counseling at Affinity Health System. Genetic counseling services include evaluation of personal and family medical history, risk assessment and genetic testing for patients.

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