Although many months are designated for awareness of specific cancers, and sadly there are many of those, April is Cancer Control Month that is to raise awareness of the importance of controlling cancer risk, making lifestyle choices to reduce the risk of cancer and to improve cancer outcomes by diagnosis at an early stage.
Genetic counseling and testing is a way to assess your genetic risk of several cancers, including breast, ovarian, colorectal, endometrial (uterine) and prostate. The benefit of testing, when appropriate, is that it allows individuals to be proactive about their health. In many cases, the results of testing and counseling provide a pathway to actions for potentially preventing cancers. There are many options for managing patients at high risk for cancers that range from enhanced screenings to preventative surgery to help control your cancer risks.
Knowing your family cancer history is the first step in recognizing if you and your bloodline family members are at increased risk for inheritable cancer. Individuals with a significant family history of cancer, even without a personal history of cancer, may consider genetic counseling and testing to aid in their own current and future medical management. Additionally, genetic counseling and testing provide indications about the potential risk for genetically related family members.
Genetic answers empower individuals and their families to control their cancer knowledge and risk assessment to make decisions regarding medical and personal management of cancer risks.