“While these questions may seem simple, the answers could change how often you need to have certain cancer screenings or even what treatment options you should consider,” said Lynette Phillips, Director of the UDOH Cancer Control Program. “When healthcare providers and genetic counselors know your family history, they can help you come up with a personalized plan for your future.”
The UDOH urges Utahns to speak with a genetic counselor if they notice any of these red flags in their family history:
- Blood relatives that had cancer, such breast or colon cancer before age 50.
- Two or more blood relatives on the same side of the family that had the same type of cancer or related cancers. For example, breast and ovarian cancers are related, as are colorectal and uterine cancer.
- Blood relatives that had more than one type of cancer.
- Blood relatives that had a rare type of cancer or tumor.
There are a variety of medical tests which can identify whether or not individuals and families have a genetic condition, such as Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer or Lynch Syndrome, which increases their risk for cancer. It’s important for individuals having these tests to know what they’re being tested for, what the possible outcomes may be, and what their options are after getting the results.
More tools and information about family health history collection, genetic counseling and testing, Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer, Lynch Syndrome, and resources for healthcare providers are available on http://cancerutah.org/genomicseducation.
Cancer Control Program