The Genetics Connection

The Genetics Connection

Are you at increased genetic risk to develop breast or ovarian cancer?

If you have a personal or family history of breast or ovarian cancer, you may be a candidate for referral to our Cancer Genetics Clinic by your primary care doctor or other specialist.  The staff our Clinic can evaluate your family history and consult with you about the possibility that you have an inherited risk to develop these cancers.  Importantly, the staff can provide you with information about appropriate medical care for you, based on your family history. 

To find out if you may be at increased risk to develop breast or ovarian cancer, click on the link below to fill out a family history questionnaire that will evaluate your risk.  However, remember that the family history is not a perfect tool for determining whether you may have an inherited risk to develop breast or ovarian cancer.

Family History Questionnaire for Breast or Ovarian Cancer

What to expect at UVa's Cancer Genetics Clinic:

Prior to meeting with the genetic counselor, you will be sent an intake packet of forms to complete.  Of particular importance is the family history form.  When you have filled out and returned the forms, the cancer genetic counselor will construct your family medical tree.  This permits evaluation of your family history by the genetic counselor and a Breast Team member.  Occasionally, the clinic staff may obtain, with the permission of your relative, medical records on that relative's cancer.  This permits the Cancer Genetics Clinic staff to understand your family history as fully as possible.

At your visit, you learn:

  • the specific inherited disorder that may be suspected in you and/or your family
  • the disorder's pattern of inheritance
  • the risk that you inherited this, or may have passed this to your children
  • the risk of tumor development in gene carriers
  • medical management strategies that may lower the risk that you develop cancer, or help to detect cancer early 

Learn your cancer risk

Harvard University has an easy-to-follow online test that can help you learn your risk of cancer and learn how to lower your risk.

All about Genetics and Cancer

Check out for more information about Genetics and Cancer

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