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Hereditary Cancer Screening

Cancer screening is a major component of our healthcare process; in gynecology, examples of cancer screening include the pap smear and mammogram.  A small percentage of cancers are inherited through specific gene mutations that can be passed on from family member to family member.  Examples are certain types of breast, ovarian, colon, or uterine cancers.  Specialized questionnaires can be used to identify patients with high risk personal or family histories for these types of cancer, and these patients can then be tested.  Testing positive for a gene mutation does not mean that a person will develop the cancer, but that their chance is greatly increased.  Alternatively, testing negative does not mean that a patient has no chance of developing cancer, but that the risk is typically closer to that of the general population.

By knowing your cancer risk, we can help you make informed decisions about your health care; for example, starting mammograms and breast MRI at an earlier age, and/or more often than the general population.  Testing positive for a cancer gene mutation may change the way a patient approaches certain medications, family planning, fertility preservation, or surgery.  We work closely with genetic counselors and other cancer specialists to educate and support our patients through these decisions.

The medical staff at JCRM supports early detection of cancers and strongly recommends testing for patients with a high-risk personal or family history.  Testing of this type is endorsed by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the American Society of Clinical Oncologists (ASCO), the American Medical Association (AMA), and many other professional medical organizations.  If your family history indicates a high-risk family history, you will be scheduled for a genetic consultation to make further recommendations.

Hereditary Cancer Quiz 

To complete an online questionnaire, click here:


To learn more about the testing, click here: