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Legacy in the News: Legacy Cancer Institute Offers Genetic Test that Reveals Cancer Chances

KOIN Local 6

May 15, 2013

The genetic testing that showed Angelina Jolie had an 87% chance of getting breast cancer and a 50% chance of getting ovarian cancer is available for local women and men at the Legacy Cancer Institute.

Legacy Breast Health Center–Meridian Park is offering the Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Program and Legacy Medical Group—Surgical Oncology is offering the Cancer Risk Assessment Program. The assessments, which are administered at mammogram appointments at Legacy Meridian Park and as an intake assessment at LMG – Surgical Oncology appointments, are free of charge and use the Hughes Risk Assessment software to identify patients who may be at high-risk for cancer due to family history and/or genetic mutation and then provide them with proactive and personalized follow-up services.

The Hughes Risk Assessment is the only tool currently available that combines multiple risk models in assessing a comprehensive family history to evaluate whether an individual may be at an increased risk of developing cancer. If the patient is identified as high risk, he or she are referred to Legacy Genetic Services and offered individualized follow up services aimed at significantly lowering the risk of developing cancer. These services may include genetic counseling and testing, additional imaging and preventative surgery.

Paul Dorsey, genetic counselor at Legacy Cancer Institute who tests and counsels patients who may be at higher risk said, “we know that some of these mutations increase the risk of other cancers such as pancreatic cancer. It is important to remember that these genes can be passed on from either maternal or paternal lineages. In addition, there are other less common mutations that can be detected more accurately with this risk assessment tool.”

There are now over 27 genetic mutations that can carry with them the risk of breast and other forms of cancer and accurate evaluation and testing, like the Hughes Risk Assessment, is critical in helping choose appropriate screening and treatment.

Specific risk factors for hereditary cancer include:

  • Personal or family history of breast cancer before age 50 
  • Personal or family history of ovarian cancer at any age
  • Patients with two or more primary diagnoses of breast and/or other cancer
  • Male breast cancer diagnosed in first-degree relatives
  • Relatives of a gene mutation carrier 
  • People of certain ethnic backgrounds such as Ashkenazi Jewish, French Canadian, or Scandinavian descent

For KOIN’s story and video click here