What if you could know your chances of getting cancer? What if knowing could save your life?
It can. Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center now offers genetic testing for cancer, a specialized medical science in affiliation with Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU), which enables doctors to read your genes to determine if cancer is in your future. Previously, many patients in the Rogue Valley had to travel as far as Portland or Sacramento or San Francisco.
What is genetic counseling?
Some cancers, such as breast cancer and ovarian cancer, can run in the family. Genetic testing screens your body’s DNA for an inherited mutation in the gene strain, which can signal your likelihood of developing cancer down the road.
When the mutation is detected, genetic counselors are able to guide you through a variety of options for preventing cancer or detecting it early enough to save your life.
How can genetic counseling help me?
If you have a family history of cancer, genetic counseling can help explain why cancer runs in the family and what you can do about it. When you know your risks, you can choose proactive treatment options for avoiding cancer, or frequent screenings to find it and fight it at the earliest stage.
Who benefits from genetic counseling?
Most cancer is not inherited. Hereditary cancer accounts for about 5% to 10% of all cases. However, if someone in your family is:
- diagnosed with a rare type of cancer, such as ovarian cancer or male breast cancer
- diagnosed with cancer at younger than age 50
- diagnosed with multiple primary cancers
then inherited cancer may be a factor. Genetic counseling can help.
What can I expect from the appointment?
A genetic cancer testing clinic is held twice a month at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center’s Infusion Services department.
This one hour telemedicine consultation takes place via a live video screen at Asante Rogue Regional. A geneticist or genetic counselor specializing in cancer genetics at OHSU will review your personal family medical history with you and discuss options for preventing cancer or recommend further testing. Testing is relatively painless and involves collecting saliva from a mouthwash or mouth swab, or in some cases a blood draw.
How you choose to handle your knowledge of genetic cancer risks is always up to you. We’re here to guide you through the journey, offering expertise and compassion for whatever choices you make. Depending on your personal health care needs, your next steps toward preventive cancer care may take place at Asante Rogue Regional.
To learn more about genetic counseling or to schedule testing, talk with your primary care provider or call us at, (541) 789-5006.