When you have a history of a certain type of cancer in your family, it can be helpful to see a genetic counselor to find out whether you are at high risk for that cancer. “I help families make sense of their cancer history,” says Melanie Baxter, ScM, CGC, genetic counselor at Saint Francis Medical Center. “There are many different computer models we use to determine your personal risk of developing certain cancers based on your family history. For some people, genetic testing is appropriate.”
There are many different types of cancer genes, but the most common are BRCA1 and BRCA2, which put women at increased risk for breast and ovarian cancer. Nearly as common is Lynch syndrome, a disorder that increases a person’s risk for colon, uterine and other cancers.
If you do have a cancer gene mutation, you may benefit from speaking with a genetic counselor to discuss your medical management options.
For more information, call 573-331-3996.