Page 4 - Elevate Winter 2021
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                   Do you have cancer in your genes?
                     Find out with genetic testing.

DOYOU HAVE your mom’s facial                GENETIC COUNSELING EXPLAINED                  appropriate, you schedule an appointment
features, your dad’s eyes or your
grandmother’s personality? For the          A genetic counselor is a healthcare           for cancer genetic testing.
most part, your inherited traits are        professional who helps you understand
nothing to worry about. But if close        how DNA impacts you and your loved            Your test requires a blood or saliva
family members have battled cancer,         ones. Cancer genetic counselors focus on
though, don’t ignore their history.         hereditary cancer risk.                       sample. This sample gets sent to the

   “Individuals with a family history          “Not everyone who sees us for genetic      laboratory for evaluation. Based on your
of cancer may have an increased risk        counseling undergoes testing,” Arnold
for developing cancer,” says Claire         says. “When they do, genetic counselors       risk factors, your sample gets tested for one
Arnold, MS, CGC, licensed genetic           help them understand their test results.
counselor at Atrium Health Navicent.        We discuss what to do with the results        or more genetic mutations. These indicate
“This risk comes because family             and how to use the information for their
members share genetics and often            medical care. Ultimately, we’re trying to     your risk of specific cancers.
environmental and lifestyle risk            help people make informed decisions about
factors.”                                   their healthcare.”                            Cancers that are commonly tested for

   Afraid your family history puts you      THE TESTING PROCESS                           include:
at risk? Don’t live in fear. Atrium Health
Navicent’s genetic counselors can           Understanding your inherited cancer risk      »	 Breast   »	 Pancreatic
determine your risk and help you know       begins with a meeting. During this meeting,
what to do next.                            you discuss your personal and family          »	 Colon    »	 Prostate
                                            medical history with a genetic counselor. If
                                                                                          »	 Ovarian  »	 Uterine

                                                                                          Two to three weeks after your test,

                                                                                          you meet with your genetic counselor to

                                                                                          discuss the results. A negative result allows

                                                                                          you to return to life as usual. A positive test

                                                                                          leads to further discussion.

                                                                                          MAKING USE OF GENETIC TESTING

                                                                                          If you have genetic mutations that put you

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