Mercy Health understands that, in many cases, cancer is a genetic disease. Cancer is caused by certain changes to our genes that alter the way our cells function, especially how cells grow and divide within our body. Because of this, family history is extremely important in assessing your risk of developing cancer. Inherited genetic mutations may play a role in as much as 10 percent of all cancer cases, and genetic tests for hereditary cancer syndromes can identify these mutations early to increase your chances of early detection and survival. Mercy Health genetic counselors work with you to help you understand any potential hereditary risks facing you and your family members.

Genetic counseling is conducted by a specialist to provide an assessment for patients or family members at risk of certain cancers. Following the screening, patients are advised of the consequences and nature of the genetic mutations, the probability of developing cancer and the options open to them in management and family planning. This process can include:

  • Assessment of family and medical histories to determine the chance of disease occurrence or recurrence 
  • Education about inheritance, testing, management, prevention, resources 
  • Counseling to establish preventative care and treatment options to the risk or condition


Why Choose Mercy Health?
Mercy Health genetic counselors will guide you through the process of identifying your hereditary risk of developing cancer, as well as any risks you may pass on to your children. We understand that these types of discussions can be extremely stressful, so all of our counselors and specialists are trained to provide compassionate care to make it as easy for you as possible. Understanding your hereditary risks is vital to identifying cancer early. If you would like to know more about how your family history can impact your chances of developing cancer, make an appointment with a Mercy Health genetic counselor today.

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