When cells in your body start growing out of control, it can lead to cancer. While most cancers aren’t hereditary (related to your genes), some gene mutations can put you at a higher risk for developing certain types of cancer. At the William G. Rohrer Cancer Genetics Program at MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper, we can help you and your family identify and manage your risk for hereditary cancer.
If you’re concerned about your risk for developing cancer, ask your doctor if a referral to our cancer genetics program is right for you. We offer genetic cancer risk assessment, counseling, and testing. Our team of professionals can help you learn more about your genes so you can manage your risk in a way that feels right for you.
Cancer Genetic Testing: What You Should Know
Our cancer genetics program offers hereditary cancer risk assessment, genetic counseling, and genetic testing by a team of specialized physicians and genetic counselors. Here’s what you should know:
- Cancer and your genes: Genes are pieces of information in the cells that make up the body. All cancer is caused by a buildup of mutations (changes) in specific genes. These mutations cause cells to grow out of control and become cancer.
- What is genetic counseling? Genetic counseling can help you consider the risks, benefits, and limitations of genetic testing as it relates to your circumstances. After reviewing your personal and family history with one of our skilled genetic counselors, you can decide whether to have genetic testing to learn more about your potential cancer risk. This decision is completely up to you.
- What is cancer genetic testing? Genetic testing involves taking a sample of your blood or saliva. These results may help your doctor manage cancer (if you’ve been diagnosed with cancer) or show if you have a higher than usual chance of developing certain types of cancer. Based on your results, our specialists can recommend the next steps you can take to best manage cancer risk.
- What does genetic testing tell me? If you carry a hereditary cancer gene mutation, that doesn’t mean you’ll get cancer. It does mean your risk of developing cancer at some point during your lifetime is higher than average.
- Does insurance cover genetic testing? Cancer genetics consultation appointments are covered by most health insurers. Health insurance companies may cover most, if not all, of the cost of genetic testing on a case-by-case basis. Your doctor will address the cost of genetic testing during your consultation appointment.
Who Could Benefit From Cancer Genetic Testing?
This program may be especially helpful if you:
- Have been diagnosed with any cancer at an early age (younger than 50)
- Have two or more close relatives, on the same side of the family, with the same or related types of cancer. Close relatives could be your:
- Brothers or sisters
- Parents or grandparents
- Aunts or uncles
- Have had more than one type of cancer
- Have a rare cancer
- Or a family member has a known cancer gene mutation
Cancer Genetics Resources
Our cancer genetics professionals can offer you guidance and more information on many different genetic mutations and hereditary disorders, including:
- Hereditary breast cancer
- Hereditary cancer and multi-gene testing
- Hereditary colorectal cancer syndromes
- Hereditary ovarian cancer
- Hereditary uterine cancer
- Lynch syndrome, an inherited disorder that puts some people at a higher risk for colon and other cancers
Why Choose MD Anderson Cooper for Cancer Care?
As a partner with MD Anderson Cancer Center, you’ll receive the same proven practice standards and treatment options offered at MD Anderson. You also benefit from our:
- Leading cancer care expertise: Our specialists are respected both regionally and nationally for our excellence in cancer diagnosis and treatment. We offer a variety of advanced technologies, therapies, and procedures to effectively diagnose and treat a wide range of cancers.
- Team approach to treatment: At MD Anderson Cooper, doctors from different specialties meet weekly to discuss your care. This coordination ensures a treatment plan personalized to you.
- Full range of support services: You can meet with a wide range of support professionals, such as behavioral health experts, nutrition counselors, and palliative medicine providers. We do all we can to help you overcome any obstacles you encounter during cancer treatment and recovery. Explore our cancer care support services.
To learn more about cancer genetics services available at MD Anderson Cooper or to schedule an appointment, please call 855.MDA.COOPER (855.623.2667).
Refer a Patient
If you are a doctor who wants to refer a patient interested in cancer genetics to MD Anderson Cooper, please call 855.MDA.COOPER (855.623.2667).