Hereditary Cancer Screening
If you have a family history of certain types of cancer, you may have a higer chance of developing the disease. Genetic testing looks for mutations in your genes that affect your cancer risk.
Our board-certified genetic counselors provide comprehensive and compassionate care to help you understand your cancer risk. We work with you to develop a plan for managing and preventing disease.
Who Needs Genetic Testing for Cancer?
You should consider genetic counseling and testing if you have any of the following:
- Several first-degree relatives (parents, siblings or children) with cancer
- Several relatives on one side of the family with the same type of cancer, including those linked to a known gene mutation such as breast, ovarian and pancreatic cancer
- A family member with a rare cancer, more than one type of cancer, or any cancer at an age younger than normal for that type of cancer
- A physical condition that can indicate inherited cancer, such as colon polyps
- Membership in a race or ethnic group with known inherited gene mutations (for example, Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry is linked to breast and ovarian cancer)
- One or more family members who already completed genetic testing and have a known genetic mutation
What to Expect With Genetic Testing
Genetic testing tells you if you have a genetic mutation that’s linked to cancer. Testing does not reveal if you will or will not develop the disease.
Genetic testing steps include:
- Risk assessment: We ask about your and your family’s health histories. This information helps us detect patterns of cancer in your family and predict your cancer risk.
- Genetic counseling: Your genetic counselor explains your risk assessment and how genetic testing works. You discuss the pros, cons, costs and limitations of testing to ensure you make an informed choice.
- Genetic testing: If you consent to genetic testing, we take samples of blood, saliva, cells, or other bodily tissue or fluid. We send the samples to a lab.
- Results: We tell you if you have any genetic mutations (positive) and what these mutations could indicate. If your test is positive, we outline a plan to help you and your family manage risks and prevent disease. The results could also be negative or inconclusive.
Standing Up to Stage 4 Breast Cancer
In 2019, 28-year-old Holly Hammond was diagnosed with stage 4 triple-negative breast cancer. Inspired by her positivity, Holly's care team at Cedars-Sinai Cancer in Tarzana problem-solved its way through her harrowing cancer journey.