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Hereditary Cancer and Genetic Testing

Approximately 10 percent of all cancers are hereditary, which means they are caused by a damaged gene inherited from your father or mother. Sarasota Memorial’s Genetic Counselor, Maggi Tabano, ARNP, is trained to recognize whether the cancers in your family are sporadic or hereditary. Knowing your cancer risk, and doing everything you can to lower it, could make a big difference for you, your family and your future healthcare decisions. Among other considerations, she assesses personal and family history, looking at all cancers on both sides of the family, the ages at which family members were diagnosed, and the country where your ancestors originated. During your visit, you also will learn about genetic testing options, privacy laws, insurance coverage and strategies to reduce your cancer risk. Be assured that all visits, personal and family information, counseling and results are confidential.

Lynch Syndrome
If you or a family member has been diagnosed with colon or endometrial cancer, you should be aware of a hereditary disorder called Lynch Syndrome, in which affected people have a greater chance of developing colorectal, endometrial and other types of cancers at a young age. Lynch Syndrome is also called Hereditary Nonpolyposis Colon Cancer (HNPCC). 

If you’re concerned about hereditary cancer, ask your physician to refer you to Sarasota Memorial’s Genetic Counselor, who will help arrange the right testing for you. Although a physician referral is not required to participate in our program, you may need authorization from your health plan to cover the cost of the counseling appointment. For information, call 941-917-2005.

Hereditary Cancer Quiz
To begin the process of determining if genetic testing is right for you, use the Breast Cancer Genetics Referral Screening Tool, which asks questions about family history to assess if you may be at risk for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. (After you click Access Screening Tool and State of Residency, click Proceed Without Saving. Only Georgia residents need to click "I Agree".)