An estimated 5 to 10% of cancer diagnoses are because of an inherited form of cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. Sporadic cancer shows no clear pattern within a family, familial cancer, however, can be detected in shared genes, a shared environment or a combination of both. The increased risk can be passed down through generations by traveling from parent to child.
At Littleton Adventist Hospital, we offer genetic counseling and testing to identify hereditary forms of cancer, giving our patients the power of prevention, early diagnosis and informed decisions about treatment options. Genetic counseling is available to both individuals who have been diagnosed with cancer and to individuals who have not had cancer but have a family history of the disease.
Below are signs that an individual may be at risk for a hereditary form of cancer and should undergo genetic counseling and possibly, genetic testing:
- Cancer that is diagnosed at an earlier age than usual (usually before the age of 50) in either the patient or a patient's family member
- Individuals who have more than one primary cancer
- Physical signs that may be associated with inherited cancers (e.g. multiple polyps and colon cancer)
- Different familial cancers that are known to be genetically related (e.g. breast, and ovarian cancer, colon, ovarian, and endometrial cancers)
- Several generations of a family being affected by the same cancer or genetically related cancers
Insurance Coverage of Genetic Testing
Most insurers provide coverage for genetic testing if certain family or personal history criteria are met. We will work with you to determine whether or not you meet the coverage criteria.
Genetic Information Non-discrimination Act (GINA)
Genetic discrimination is illegal. GINA was signed in May 2008 and enacted in 2009. This federal protection act prohibits discrimination based on genetic information as defined as: predictive genetic tests, family members' genetic tests and family history. This applies to group and individual health insurance and employment practices. It does NOT cover life, disability, long term and other forms of insurance.
If you have any questions about this clinic or hereditary forms of cancer, please call 303-734-3969.
Download our Genetic Counseling Referral Form.