Cancer Institute A national cancer institute
designated cancer center

Clinical Cancer Genetics Services Overview

Who should consider Genetic Testing and Counseling?

The most common inherited cancers include breast, ovarian and colon, although other types exist. The characteristics of genetic cancers include:

The following criteria are used to determine who should consider genetic testing for some of the specific hereditary cancer syndromes.

Breast and Ovarian Cancer

You
Family History (Same Side of the Family)

Colorectal Cancer

You

Hereditary Diffuse Gastric Cancer

You

Other Hereditary Cancer Syndromes

You

Pediatric Cancer Syndromes

You
Family History (Same Side of the Family)

Genetic Counseling

Cancer results from an accumulation of genetic changes within a cell that allow uncontrolled cell growth. In the vast majority of cancers, these changes are not inherited but occur after birth due to random biological events and exposure to certain environmental agents.

Occasionally, families have a very strong cancer history suggesting that a major, inherited cancer predisposition gene is responsible. The most common inherited cancers include breast, ovarian and colon although other types exist.

The Stanford Cancer Center offers genetic counseling and genetic testing for individuals concerned about the risk of an inherited cancer predisposition.

Our services include individualized cancer risk assessments based on medical and family history, detailed discussion of options for genetic testing and recommendations for preventive screening and treatments.

Our team includes genetic counselors, oncologists and geneticists.

Genetic counseling involves a comprehensive personal risk analysis and education about the genetic mechanisms related to cancer.

If indicated, genetic testing is offered, but only after the benefits, risks and limits of each test are carefully considered. Choosing if and when to test is ultimately a very personal decision.

Stanford Expertise

Our goals are to educate people about familial cancer, provide clear options for medical or surgical interventions, and enhance the quality of life for high risk cancer families.

Counselors in the program can provide assistance and information on all hereditary cancers.  Once genetic test results are available the genetic oncology specialists will offer specific options and recommendations for you.

The BRCA Decision Tool guides the management of cancer risks for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers.

High-Risk Surveillance

Once someone is found to be “high-risk” for a specific type(s) of cancer the Stanford Clinical Cancer team’s genetic oncology specialists offer options and recommendations for surveillance, preventive treatments, screening tests and procedures. Options may include intensive monitoring, medications or if appropriate, prophylactic surgery.  Participation in research protocols and clinical trials will be offered if available.

The most common inherited cancers include breast, ovarian and colon, although other types exist. The characteristics of genetic cancers include:

Stanford Medicine Resources:

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