Genetics plays a major role in 5-10 percent of all cancers, according to the National Cancer Institute. The Cancer Genetics Center at Orlando Health UF Health Cancer Center is dedicated to helping you and your family learn about your potential risk for a hereditary form of cancer, with possible genetic testing, so that you can make informed decisions about managing your health.
We provide genetic counseling to help individuals determine their risk for inheriting mutations that may cause certain types of hereditary cancer and to take steps to manage those risks. Signs that your family may have a hereditary cancer include:
- Cancer diagnosis before age 50
- Multiple close family members with the same type of cancer or related cancers
- Two or more cancer diagnoses in the same individual, such as breast cancer in both breasts
- Certain rare tumors or cancers, such as male breast cancer, ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer or metastatic prostate cancer
- Your family ethnicity is tied to a specific type of cancer (for example, Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry is linked to ovarian and breast cancers).
If you or your family tree shows these signs of hereditary cancer, you may benefit from genetic counseling.
Genetic Counseling Services
At the Cancer Genetics Center, you will work with an experienced, board-certified genetic counselor to determine your family’s risk for hereditary forms of cancer. Your genetic counselor will:
- Review your personal and family medical history
- Assess and explain the risk for hereditary forms of cancer
- Describe the benefits, risks and limitations of genetic testing
- Interpret your genetic test result and explain what it means for your family
Genetic counseling typically requires up to two visits. During your initial appointment, a genetic counselor will analyze your personal and family history, explain hereditary cancer syndromes, review the risks, benefits and limitations of genetic testing and discuss the most appropriate genetic testing options for you.
If genetic testing is appropriate and desired, the process of genetic testing and/or insurance pre-authorization can be started during the first appointment. At your second appointment, your genetic counselor will share the test results, explain your risk of developing cancer and discuss your medical management options.
Genetic Testing Benefits
A positive genetic test result doesn’t mean that you will definitely develop cancer, only that you are at an increased risk for cancer. If your genetic test result shows an increased risk for cancer, our clinicians will work with you to develop a proactive plan for managing your health. We will share this plan with your team of physicians.
Our High-Risk Breast Cancer Clinic offers personalized care to women who have an increased risk of breast cancer due to personal history, genetic conditions, family history or other risk factors. Doctors in our other specialty cancer centers are also available to develop proactive preventive care plans for individuals with a genetic risk for other types of cancer.
Other members of your family may also want to have genetic testing done to determine their individual risk for cancer and to learn more about cancer prevention.
Preparing for Genetic Counseling
Before your first genetic counseling appointment, you will be sent a questionnaire to complete to provide us information about your family's history of cancer. It will also help us to learn and understand your health concerns.
To schedule a genetic counseling appointment, please call (321) 841- GENE (4363) or email [email protected].