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Managing Your Cancer Risk through Genetic Testing

About 10% of all cancers are hereditary, and there are more than 50 hereditary cancer syndromes that are associated with specific gene mutations.

Genetic testing can help determine if you have an increased risk for certain types of cancer, including breast, ovarian, prostate, endometrial, melanoma and colorectal; as well as less common cancers such as kidney, thyroid, brain and pancreatic.

While you can’t inherit cancer, you can inherit a higher risk for developing it.

Southern Cancer Center is proud to offer a Genetic Risk Evaluation and Testing (GREAT) program to our local community and to those with a significant family or personal history of cancer. Our comprehensive program allows you to understand your cancer risk and make informed decisions about your health.

“Genetic testing and consultation, which are key components of the GREAT program, can be an important option for people who may have an inherited risk of developing cancer,” said Dr. Brian Heller, president of Southern Cancer Center. “Understanding the increased risk of developing the disease can help a person make lifestyle choices that may prevent cancer, as well as help them make informed decisions about screenings that can detect the disease early.”

Patients interested in genetic testing can be seen at Southern Cancer Center offices in both Mobile and Baldwin County by our team of specially trained oncology providers.

We will take an in-depth evaluation of your personal and family history and provide education on testing and how your genetics play a role in the development of cancer. A blood or saliva sample will be collected and sent off for testing. Once we receive your test results, we personally meet with you to interpret the findings and to answer your questions.

Patients who test positive for a gene mutation are presented with options for a proactive, individualized care plan that could include surveillance, medication or preventative surgery. Those who do not test positive still receive counseling for risk management and further preventative strategies.

Specific to Southern Cancer Center, we provide this genetic counseling in-house, to thoroughly discuss the impact test results may have on you and your family and to answer the burning question of “what’s next?”.

“This testing is an essential component of quality cancer care,” said Dr. Heller. “It gives us the opportunity to reduce the risk of cancer for patients and possibly even their family. It can also help us detect cancer earlier, which increases the chance for a successful outcome. We are excited to add the GREAT program to our practice as part of our continuing commitment to provide the most advanced, complete cancer care to the Gulf Coast.”

For more information about Southern Cancer Center’s Genetic Risk Evaluation and Testing program, call 251.625.6896 or visit us online at www.SouthernCancerCenter.com.

Southern Cancer Center… Navigating You from Patient to Survivor.