Genetics Clinics feature image

Having a personal or family history of cancer can bring up many questions. You may wonder: Am I at higher risk for cancer? Is my family at higher risk for cancer? Are we getting the right screening? Should I have genetic testing? How can I lower my risk of cancer if I am at higher risk? The UNC Cancer Genetics team may help answer some of these questions for you and your family.

Most cancer happens by chance, but sometimes it can run in families. You may benefit from cancer genetic counseling and possibly genetic testing if you have any of the clues below in your personal or family history:

  • Cancer diagnosed before age 50
  • Cancer in several generations of your family
  • Relatives who had the same or related types of cancer (such as breast and ovarian cancer or colon and uterine cancer in the same family)
  • Two or more cancers (either the same or different types) in you or a relative
  • Rare cancers or tumors (such as breast cancer in a man, medullary thyroid cancer, ovarian cancer, or paraganglioma)
  • Ten or more pre-cancerous colon polyps
  • Certain ethnic backgrounds, such as Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry

An appointment with our team can help you figure out if you would benefit from genetic testing.