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Signs of Hereditary Cancer

If you or a close relative* have any of the following, a referral to the Genetic Counseling Clinic may be indicated for you:

*Close relatives are: parents, children, brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles, nieces, nephews, grandparents, and grandchildren.

Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer:

  • Invasive breast cancer or DCIS diagnosed at or under age 50
  • Two or more blood-related individuals with breast cancer
  • Male breast cancer
  • Ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer at any age
  • Breast cancer and one or more other separate cancers *
  • Breast cancer and large head circumference (57 cm or larger for women, 59 cm or larger for men), and/or mental retardation/autism
  • Breast cancer with Eastern European Jewish ancestry, or Hispanic/Latino ancestry from southern Colorado or northern New Mexico

*Cancers that accompany breast cancer in inherited syndromes include: a second new breast cancer, brain, thyroid, pancreatic, & endometrial cancers; lymphoma/leukemia; and adrenal cortical or choroid plexus carcinomas.

Hereditary Colorectal Cancer:

  • Colorectal OR uterine cancer diagnosed  under age 60
  • Two or more separate colorectal cancers in the same person
  • Three or more blood related individuals with colorectal or uterine cancer
  • Colorectal cancer or uterine cancer and a personal or family history of other cancers*                                                                                              
  • Ten or more cumulative gastrointestinal adenomas or hyperplastic polyps
  • Hamartomas, juvenile polyps, Peutz-Jeghers polyps
  • Pathology of the colorectal tumor shows microsatellite instability or  evidence of a mismatch repair defect.

*Cancers/tumors that accompany colorectal cancer in inherited syndromes include: uterine, ovarian, stomach, small intestine, pancreatic, urinary tract cancers, brain tumors, sebaceous adenomas and keratocanthomas.

Other hereditary cancer syndromes:

  • An identified inherited/genetic syndrome
  • An individual with bilateral or multiple primary cancers or brain tumors
  • An individual diagnosed with cancer at an unusually young age
  • Three or more blood related family members with the same type of cancer
  • Rare cancers such as: medullary thyroid cancer, adrenocortical carcinoma, pheochromocytoma, and paraganglioma

If you feel you may fall into any of these categories, please contact the Genetic Counseling Clinic.


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