Cancer Genetic Counseling Information, Female
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Your genes are part of your DNA, which contains the information that cells use to grow, function, and reproduce. Genes control how your cells grow and divide. Abnormal genes (mutations) can cause cells to grow and divide too quickly. This can lead to cancer. Some cancers are caused by gene mutations that are passed from parent to child (inherited).
Other rare cancers may also occur as the result of an inherited gene mutation.
First- and second-degree relatives include parents, children, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews. If you are at risk for a genetic cancer, your health care provider may suggest genetic counseling.
Genetic counseling can help you decide if you want to learn about a genetic cancer risk. Choosing whether to have testing to learn about your risk is an important decision that can affect you and your family in many ways.
Genetic counseling can help you review the benefits and risks of genetic testing so you can make decisions that would be best for you and your family.
A genetic test is usually a simple blood test to check for a genetic mutation that increases your risk of a certain type of cancer.
If your test does not find a mutation, you may be relieved to know that you are not at higher risk for a genetic cancer. This information is also helpful to your first- and second-degree relatives. It means that they are also not at higher risk.
This information is not intended to replace advice given to you by your health care provider. Make sure you discuss any questions you have with your health care provider.
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