Support and Resources
A hereditary cancer develops as a result of an inherited gene mutation from parent to child. Cancer itself is not inherited, only the gene which is associated with increased risk to develop cancer.
Genetic testing may appear to be straightforward with a routine blood draw; however the information learned from genetic testing is only helpful if ordered and interpreted correctly. This information can be an emotional and difficult process as one has to recount the family or personal history of cancer and learn about their risk.
Some individuals want to know, while others may be unsure and worry about what they will do with the information. Knowing this information about cancer risk can be life-saving for an individual and their family members. Individuals with known mutations can take steps to reduce their risk of cancer. This may be through frequent, earlier screening recommendations and considerations of preventative options.
Benefits of knowing:
- Better assessment of one’s risk to develop cancer
- Allow tailored screening on individualized basis
- Discussion of options for screening/prevention to reduce cancer risk
- Benefits to family members
When taking steps to determine your risk of cancer and your risk management options, there is a good chance that other individuals are going through the same thing. They may share similar emotions and be available to offer support. Organizations geared toward providing support include but are not limited to those listed below:
- Bright Pink
- American Cancer Society
- Bay Area Cancer Connections
- Genetic Alliance
- National Cancer Institute