Open Accessibility Menu

Genetic Testing

Infirmary Health Cancer Care offers a comprehensive Cancer Genetics Program to educate and evaluate your personal and family history of cancer.

What Is Genetic Testing?

Genetic testing looks for specific inherited changes (mutations) in a person’s DNA. Genetic mutations can have harmful, beneficial, neutral (no effect), or uncertain effects on health. Harmful mutations may increase a person’s chance, or risk, of developing a disease such as cancer. Overall, inherited mutations are thought to play a role in about 5 to 10 percent of all cancers.

What Genetic Tests Are Available for Assessing Cancer Risks?

More than 50 hereditary cancer syndromes have been identified. The majority of these are caused by strong mutations that are inherited.

Cancer types that may be inherited include:

  • Breast
  • Ovarian
  • Prostate
  • Pancreatic
  • Osteosarcoma (bone cancer)
  • Leukemia
  • Adrenocortical carcinoma (cancer of the adrenal glands)
  • Endometrial
  • Colorectal
  • Non-malignant colon polyps
  • Eye cancer (cancer of the retina)
  • Pinealoma (cancer of the pineal gland)
  • Melanoma
  • Medullary thyroid cancer
  • Pheochromocytoma (benign adrenal gland tumor)
  • Kidney

Who Should Consider Genetic Counseling for Cancer Risk?

  • Individuals diagnosed with cancer at an unusually young age
  • Multiple primary cancers in the same person
  • The person being tested has a personal or family history that suggests an inherited cancer risk condition
  • Multiple relatives that have the same type of cancer (for example, a mother, daughter, and sisters with breast cancer)
  • Unusual cases of a specific cancer type (for example, breast cancer in a man)

What Can a Genetic Counselor Do for Me?

Our genetic counselor on staff can help you:

  • Understand genetics and inherited cancers
  • Determine if genetic testing is right for you and your family
  • Assess your potential cancer risks based on personal and family history
  • Follow the genetic testing process
  • Interpret your genetic testing results
  • Manage the steps to take post-testing
  • Provide resources and support

Who Do I Contact for More Information About Genetic Testing?
Please contact our office at (251) 435-CARE (2273).

Related Doctors
Related Locations