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Cancer Genetics

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, and affects as many as 1.5 million Americans each year1. Roughly one out of every 20 cases of cancer is caused by an inherited tendency to develop cancer from genetic changes that can be passed down from parent to child. While inherited forms of cancer have been recognized for many years, the gene changes that cause them have only been found more recently. Depending on the family history, doctors can offer a blood test to find out if a person has such a change.

Genetic counseling is what ties all the information together. Genetic counselors help families work through decisions about whether to have testing and can explore the issues that surround genetic testing, and offer support throughout the testing process. (More)


Understanding Cancer Genetics

  • Genetics Counseling
  • Genetic Counseling - Getting the Information You Need
  • Genes, Chromosomes and Cancer Genes
  • Genes: The Body's Blueprint
  • Inherited Cancers
  • Inherited Breast Cancer
  • The Family Tree Pedigree
  • Family HealthLink: Cancer and Coronary Risk Assessment Tool - Interactive Tool
  • Weight, Obesity & Cancer: A Serious Risk

  • Commonly Asked Questions


    View All Q&As

  • If a Family Member Has High Colon Cancer Risk, So I Need Genetic Testing?
  • Inherited Cancer Risk
  • Is Colon Cancer Related to Genetics?
  • Risk of Inheriting Colon Cancer
  • What is my Risk of Developing Cancer with Strong Family History and Adenomas?
  • What is the Risk of BRCA1 and BRCA2 in Men?

  • Additional Information

  • Research Studies
  • Facts and Figures
  • Meet Our Experts

    NetWellness Expert Duane D Culler

    Duane D Culler, PhD, MS
    Case Western Reserve University

    Other Experts

    Last Updated: Apr 13, 2016