Tag Archive for: hereditary mutation

What Is the Role of Genetic Testing in Colon Cancer Care?

What Is the Role of Genetic Testing in Colon Cancer Care? from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

Dr. Suneel Kamath discusses the role of genetic testing in managing colon cancer. From understanding hereditary mutations to the significance of family history, learn why awareness is important.

Dr. Suneel Kamath is a medical oncologist at the Cleveland Clinic Cancer Institute. Learn more about Dr. Kamath.

See More from DETECT Colon Cancer

Related Resources:

Research Advances in Colon Cancer Screening and Detection

Research Advances in Colon Cancer Screening and Detection

What Can Patients Do to Access Better Colon Cancer Care?

What Can Patients Do to Access Better Colon Cancer Care?

What Are Common Colon Cancer Health Disparities?

What Are Common Colon Cancer Health Disparities?


Transcript: 

Katherine:

Where does hereditary testing or genetic counseling come in as a screening tool? 

Dr. Kamath:

Hereditary testing, I think, is so important. I wouldn’t say it’s the best screening tool. It’s often best once somebody has already been diagnosed and you know that the disease is in the family. I do think it’s really, really important for people who have a family history of any cancer. Again, I go back to the fact that I think a lot of us don’t really know our family histories. I find for a lot of people when they’re first diagnosed with a cancer, that’s the first time they go talk to Mom and Dad, and to Uncle Joe Aunt Shirley, and they say, “Hey, do we have anything like this in the family?” 

And it actually turns out – I often hear the second and third visits, “It actually turns out I do have a strong family history of cancer.” I just urge people that it’s not an easy thing to talk about, but have that conversation with your family. Also, be open to sharing that information if it was you because these things have heavy implications on everyone in your entire family.  

Also, importantly, it doesn’t have to be the same cancer. A lot of people think it’s only if you have a family history of colorectal cancer that you might be at increased risk of others. But there are many syndromes that link uterine with colorectal and stomach and breast and whatnot. Being aware of any family history of cancer can really help us trigger the right genetic testing to find out if you have a hereditary syndrome or not.