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Hereditary Cancer Susceptibility Testing

Advanced Gynecology is happy to offer testing for cancer susceptibility genes to women with a family history of certain types of cancers. We currently offer testing for both Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer syndrome (HBOC) and Lynch syndrome.

HBOC is caused by mutations in the BRCA gene. If you have breast or ovarian cancers in your family or Jewish ancestry, you may meet criteria for testing for this gene.

Lynch Syndrome, or HNPCC (hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer), is associated with cancers of the colon, endometrium (inner uterine lining), stomach, ovaries, ureter or renal pelvis (kidney), biliary tract (related to gallbladder), small bowel, pancreas, brain, or sebaceous adenomas.

If you have any of these cancers in your family, it is generally recommended that the person with the cancer undergo testing first, but in many cases, this is not possible or feasible. Please, attempt to find out at what ages the family member’s cancer was diagnosed.

Finding out these test results allows us to manage your care more appropriately by knowing more about your individual risks. Much can be done to prevent these cancers when we know your test results. If the test result is positive, it means you carry a mutation in your cancer fighting DNA that makes the chance of getting cancer very likely. Once we know your result, we can better screen for and hopefully prevent the associated cancers. If the test result is negative, then the chance that you carry a mutation in that gene is very, very low and we do not need to test any of your descendants (like children or grandchildren), though your siblings should still consider testing unless you are the only one in your family with cancer. Given a positive family history for cancer, however, we will still recommend watching you more closely, though it is good to know that you don’t have the markedly increased risk of the susceptibility genes. Either result is helpful information to have for both your and your family’s healthcare.