Genetic Counseling—Knowing Could Save Your Life - Asante

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Genetic counseling

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 three times 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.

Referral Contact

Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center
Infusion Services
Phone: 541-789-5006
FAX: 541-789-5678
Secretary :Anita Desavedo

Cancer Tests

The inherited cancer syndromes we will test for include:

Hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (HBOC)

Hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (HBOC) – Families with HBOC have an increased risk for breast, ovarian and pancreatic cancer. The genes associated with HBOC are BRCA1 and BRCA2. This test received national media attention earlier this year following actress Angelina Jolie’s decision to have a double mastectomy based on her risk assessment results.

Hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC)

Families with HNPCC have an increased risk for colorectal, uterine, stomach and ovarian cancers. The genes associated with HNPCC are MLH1, MSH2, MSH6 and PMS2.

Cowden syndrome

Families with Cowden syndrome have an increased risk for breast, uterine and thyroid cancers. The gene associated with Cowden syndrome is PTEN.

Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) and attenuated FAP

Families with FAP or AFAP have an increased risk for colorectal, small bowel, pancreatic and thyroid cancers. The gene associated with FAP and AFAP is APC.

Li-Fraumeni syndrome

Families with Li-Fraumemi syndrome have an increased risk for soft-tissue sarcoma, breast cancer, leukemia, osteosarcoma, melanoma, and colon, pancreatic, adrenal cortex and brain cancers.  The gene associated with Li-Fraumeni syndrome is p53.

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High-quality health care for everyone

As the largest health care provider in nine counties, Asante provides comprehensive medical care to more than 600,000 people throughout southern Oregon and northern California. Our facilities include Asante Ashland Community Hospital in Ashland, Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center in Medford, Asante Three Rivers Medical Center in Grants Pass, Asante Physician Partners and additional health care partnerships throughout the region.