The HealthEast Cancer Genetics Clinic sees patients who have concerns about cancer running in their family.
We offer genetic counseling and testing to help you make informed decisions about medical care. Knowing your cancer risk can affect the way you approach cancer prevention, detection and treatment. It can also help to reduce anxiety and give you peace of mind. Find out more with our frequently asked questions about genetic testing.
To make an appointment
To schedule an appointment call 651-326-7610. Get a referral form you can take to your doctor.
To find out more information about genetic testing, click here for a list of Frequently Asked Questions.
Genes and cancer
Each cell of the human body has around 25,000 pairs of genes. Genes tell your body how to grow and develop. Some genes help decide your hair and eye color, while other genes work to help prevent cancer. In some families, mutations or problems in these genes are passed from one generation to the next, increasing a person’s risk to develop cancer, and at a younger age.
Hereditary cancers have some important features in common. These cancers usually occur before the age of 50. In families, more than one family member may have the same cancer and the cancer may occur in several generations. For example, a grandmother, father and daughter may have the same cancer. Hereditary cancer is more likely to develop in more than one area in the body, such as the colon and the uterus, or in both breasts. Also, rare cancers may occur in these families, such as male breast cancer, ovarian cancer or medullary thyroid cancer.
Assessing your risk
After carefully reviewing your personal and family history, we'll provide information to help you determine next steps. The assessment process includes:
A detailed family history
The more we know about your family history, the better. Especially any information about family members with cancer, including the age they were diagnosed and what type of cancer they had.
Risk assessment and genetic counseling
You'll meet with a genetic counselor to discuss your family history, learn more about genes and cancer, and determine what steps you can take to reduce your risks.
We'll help determine if genetic testing is right for your family. If so, it can help define your risk to develop cancer.
The genetic counselor will share the assessment with your doctors, who can then use the genetic information to create an individualized plan for cancer prevention, detection and/or treatment.
Genetics support groups
People with hereditary cancer predisposition face unique medical challenges and complex decisions. Feelings of frustration or isolation may impact individuals and family members. The purpose of these groups is to bring together those facing similar challenges and to provide a forum to discuss the latest information.
- The BRCA Information and Support Group is for women with the BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 genes. It meets once a month for 90 minutes, four times in the spring and four times in the fall, with an additional special summer family event. Meetings alternate between general support and in-depth discussion of selected topics.
- The Lynch Syndrome Information and Support Group meets once in the spring, and twice in the fall. Together with the annual Living with Lynch Syndrome summer conference, this totals four meetings per year.