St. Helena

Hereditary Cancer Syndrome Testing

Reducing risk of hereditary cancer

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Research has shown up to 10 percent of cancers are due to factors passed from one generation to the next. These syndromes are known as hereditary cancers.

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The Adventist Health Early All-Around Detection (AHEAD) Program

There are genetic tests that can be used to determine your risk for developing these cancers. If you suspect you or someone you know may be at risk for cancer — such as a family history of cancer or membership in an at-risk ethnic population — you may want to learn more about genetic testing. The Adventist Health Early All-Around Detection Program (AHEAD) Program is proud to provide genetic testing services for those patients who qualify.

Take the genetic cancer risk assessment online

We understand how important it is to stay ahead of cancer, and our new virtual AHEAD program gives you the resources to do so from the comfort of your home.

Start by completing a free assessment to answer a few short questions about your personal and family health history. Then the AHEAD team can send an at-home screening resources or set up a virtual consult with program director
Dr. Candace Westgate to develop a personalized cancer prevention plan.

To learn more about genetic testing, call us at (707) 967-7550.

What is genetic testing?

Genetic testing can help you determine if you are at increased risk for developing certain types of cancer. This type of testing searches for specific changes in your genes.

Goals of genetic testing include:

  • Provide valuable information for use in customized medical management plans
  • Determine whether you have a genetic mutation known to increase your risk for certain inherited cancers
  • Help your healthcare professional make a timely and accurate diagnosis
  • Enable your healthcare professional to better predict disease aggressiveness to assist in making more informed treatment decisions

Are you a candidate for genetic testing?

If you have a personal or family history of cancer or have an increased risk of developing cancer and meet any of the criteria below, we encourage you to consider genetic testing:

  • Cancer that was diagnosed at a young age (under 50)
  • Several different types of cancer that have occurred independently
  • Several close blood relatives who have the same type of cancer
  • Unusual cases for a specific cancer type (for example, breast cancer in a man and ovarian cancer at any age)
  • Being a member of a racial/ethnic group that is known to have an increased risk of having a certain hereditary cancer syndrome

What cancers does genetic testing include?

The list below includes some of the more common cancers that are part of inherited cancer syndromes for which genetic testing is available:

  • Breast
  • Ovarian
  • Gastric
  • Colorectal
  • Pancreatic
  • Melanoma
  • Prostate
  • Endometrial

How is genetic testing done?

A saliva sample is collected in the office. The sample is then sent to a laboratory that specializes in genetic testing. The laboratory returns the test results to the doctor who requested the test.

It usually takes a few weeks to get the test results. Your provider will discuss the results, what this means to you and your family, and how it will impact your personalized medical management.

Our AHEAD Program team is with you every step of the way

Genetic testing can have several benefits. If you test positive, it is important you know you have an experienced team of specialists who work together and stand ready to help you every step of the way.

The Adventist Health Early All-Around Detection program includes a team of physicians who are specialists in gynecology, internal medicine, urology, oncology/hematology, dermatology and breast and reconstruction surgery who have a shared goal of helping patients in early detection and interventions. This may include increased surveillance and effective treatment plans that will reduce risk of cancer. Learn more about our AHEAD Program provider team.

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