Cancer Risk Assessment

According to the American Cancer Society, 1 in 3 Americans will develop cancer in their lifetime. In the past, many people believed that cancer was something that “just happened” and there was nothing you could do to prevent it. Sure, we now understand the dangers of smoking, and we know that increased sun exposure can put people at risk for skin cancers, but did you know that there are things you can do to greatly reduce your risk of other cancers, like breast cancer and colon cancer? We now know that up to 42% of cancers are linked to lifestyle factors and up to 10% are caused by inherited genetic mutations. Thanks to new research and new tools, we now have the ability to identify patients who may be at higher risk of developing certain cancers. Knowing this information allows us to work with you to create a prevention plan and to recommend types and frequencies of screenings to try to detect cancer early, if it develops.

 

OUR PROGRAMS

Hereditary Cancer Risk Assessment

Patients will complete a detailed family history questionnaire each year to help us identify those who may be at higher risk for developing cancer due to hereditary cancer syndromes. Those who are at higher risk will work with our practice geneticist, Dr. Lori White, to complete a more detailed analysis of not only family history, but also other personal health information that can impact a person’s personal cancer risk. Our practice uses clinically validated risk algorithms; we apply a patient’s health data to several models to calculate a person’s cancer risk. Using your results. Dr. White, your primary care provider and you will determine your next steps, which might include genetic testing, developing a screening plan and/or determining lifestyle modifications to help reduce your risk.

Appropriate for all men and women, including those with a previous cancer diagnosis.

Cost: $150 includes detailed risk analysis and 1-hour consultation with Dr. White. Lab-work and genetic testing costs are additional (and may be covered by your insurance.) 30-minute follow-up visits with Dr. White are $100.

 

Breast Cancer Risk Assessment

If only 10% of breast cancers are caused by a hereditary cancer syndrome, what about the other 90%? Many of those cancers can be attributed to lifestyle factors that we can control. Most women know the statistic, “1 in 8,” or 12% of women will develop breast cancer over the course of their lifetime. What we also know is that many women are actually at much higher risk of developing breast cancer than the 12% risk of the general population – and they don’t know it.

(Conversely, other women are at a substantially lower risk of developing breast cancer than the general population. For these women, focus on other efforts pertinent to their individualized risk profile – such as diabetes and heart disease prevention – might take higher priority over breast cancer detection efforts.)

Cost: $150 includes detailed risk analysis and 1-hour consultation with Dr. White. Lab-work and genetic testing costs are additional (and may be covered by your insurance.) 30-minute follow-up visits with Dr. White are $100.

 

Post-Testing Consultation

For patients who have already undergone genetic testing (either through another provider or on their own,) Dr. White offers a 30-minute consultation to review and discuss findings and recommendations.

Cost: $100 for 30-minute consultation.

 

Proactive Genetic Health Screening

In addition to our comprehensive Cancer Risk Assessment Program, we are pleased to offer Proactive Genetic Profile Screening.

Through a simple blood test, genomic profiling provides a greater understanding about your inherited risks—offering information that is medically actionable for you and your healthcare provider.

What you receive:

  • DNA analysis to determine your risk for 45 inherited health conditions, such as cancer and cardiovascular conditions (see below)
  • Personalized education, before and after testing
  • Individual wellness plan, customized by you and your provider, with actionable steps to reduce your risks and reduce the impact of diseases
  • Information and education about potential implications to your family and next steps

Our comprehensive testing includes the following health conditions:

CANCERS:

  • Breast
  • Colorectal
  • Cutaneous melanoma
  • Endometrial
  • Gastric
  • Ovarian
  • Pancreatic
  • Prostate
  • Renal Cell
  • Thyroid
  • And others

 

CARDIAC

  • Aortic aneurysm (aortopathy)
  • Genetic forms of high blood pressure and high cholesterol
  • Abnormal heart rhythms or arrhythmias
  • Heart failure
  • Heart valve disease
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Heart muscle disease (cardiomyopathy)
  • And other hereditary cardiovascular conditions

RESPIRATORY

  • Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency

 

TISSUE/ORGAN/MUSCLE

  • Hereditary hemochromatosis
  • Hypokalemic periodic paralysis

 

ANESTHESIA RESPONSE

  • Malignant hyperthermia susceptibility

 

BLOOD CLOTTING

  • Deep vein thrombosis

 

Cost: Initial consultation $150, testing $475, follow-up visit $100

*Note: The Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA) prevents health insurance companies and employers from accessing your genetic results.

 

 

FAQs

I am not a current patient of Lisa Larkin, MD, and Associates. Do I need to join the practice before having a cancer risk assessment?

No. Our cancer risk assessment programs are open to both member patients and non-member patients.

 

What is Hereditary Cancer Syndrome?

Some patients have a family history that increases their risk for developing certain cancers – also known as hereditary cancer syndromes. Some of these syndromes are well-known, such as hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome caused by BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations, thanks to celebrities like Angelina Jolie who publicly shared her experience. Other syndromes linked to common cancers are not discussed as often but can be identified through questionnaires or genetic testing.

 

What is the difference between hereditary cancer risk and personalized breast cancer risk?

Our hereditary cancer risk program evaluates your risk of developing cancer based on your personal family history, including the presence of hereditary cancer syndromes. Breast cancer risk assessment does evaluate your family history; but since we know only 10% of breast cancer is related to family history, our assessment also reviews a number of other critical factors that can impact your individual risk, including lifestyle factors.

 

Why do I need to complete a family history form every year?

Not only can your family health history change throughout the year, but the field of genetics is constantly improving. We ask for the latest information from you so we can be as current and thorough as possible.

 

Can I learn about my risk without genetic testing?

Absolutely. In many cases, genetic testing is not needed. Family history, personal health information and lifestyle habits all have an impact on determining your individual risk of developing cancer.

 

I was told I don’t meet the criteria for genetic testing. Is that still true? What if I want testing anyway?

Health insurance companies have their own guidelines for genetic testing and for determining what they will and will not cover, which change frequently. However, based on your personal history and your desire to learn more, you may want to better understand your genetic make-up. If that is the case, we can work with you to determine what tests are indicated and what they cost.

 

Either I’m going to get cancer or I’m not. What can this assessment really tell me?

It’s true—not all cancers can be predicted or prevented. However, new research and tools give us so much more information than what we once had. Our risk assessments help you understand your individual risk of developing certain cancers. Once you are armed with that information, we can help you take steps to reduce your risk through lifestyle modifications, medications, etc., and help you understand an appropriate screening schedule to try to detect cancer early, should it develop.

 

What types of lifestyle changes could lower my risk?

Your lifestyle is a very personal choice. Research provides us with evidence that points to diet, exercise, alcohol consumption, stress management, smoking, sun exposure, and dozens of other factors that can impact a person’s cancer risk. We’ll work with you to understand your current lifestyle and make recommendations for sustainable changes that can help you reduce your cancer risk and improve your overall health and wellness.