Who Should Have Genetic Counseling?

Most cancers, including breast cancer, are not genetic (due to an inherited cause). Only 5-10% of individuals have a strong genetic predisposition to cancer.  The most common types of inherited cancers include breast, ovarian, and colon cancer, although there are others. Cancer genetic counseling is recommended if you or your relatives have any of the following:
  • Early-onset (under age 50) breast, colon, or other cancer
  • Ovarian cancer at any age
  • Two or more relatives with breast and/or ovarian cancer
  • Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jewish individuals with breast and/or ovarian cancer
  • Male breast cancer
  • Two or more cancers in the same person (ex. cancer in both breasts, breast and ovarian cancer, colon and uterine cancer, melanoma and pancreatic cancer- but not cancer starting in one organ and spreading to other parts of the body)
  • Families with any combination of: colon, rectal, stomach, uterine, kidney, small intestine, or pancreatic cancer
  • Multiple relatives with melanoma and/or pancreatic cancer
  • People or families with numerous colon polyps
  • People or families with rare types of cancer or multiple (three or more) relatives with the same type of cancer
  • Relatives with a BRCA or other cancer-associated gene mutation

* Note: this is only a general list of recommendations. If you or your doctor has any concerns about your personal or family history of cancer, you are highly encouraged to call with questions or for more information.

Contact Us

For an appointment with the Cancer Genetic Counseling program at the Jean McLaughlin Women’s Center for Health and Healing or to receive more information, please call (858) 613-6121 or email cheryl.cina@palomarhealth.org.