Genetic Counselor Kimberly Banks describes what the results from cancer genetic testing show.
Genetic Counselor Kimberly Banks:
The cancer genetic testing is usually targeted. So there’s no test that we can offer that says, “This is your risk for every single cancer, and these are the ones that you are at high risk for.” We are not that sophisticated yet. Our case, most of the testing that we do is site-specific. So we’ll get a woman referred because she has a breast cancer at a young age or a family history of breast cancer, or breast and ovarian cancer. We’ll go through the assessment to figure out, “Does it look like the breast/ovary genes? Does it look like another gene, another hereditary breast cancer gene that’s involved?”
And so, depending on that personal and family history assessment, it will target us to, “Okay, these are the two or three genes that might be the answer or maybe there is no answer yet to think of.” And so we can do that with different types of cancer.
So it’s for some people, the testing is related to breast and ovarian cancer. For others, it’s for breast, uterine, and thyroid. For others, it’s colon cancer. For others it’s melanoma; for others it’s thyroid. So it really depends on what we see in the family, and we target the testing. The technology is not there yet to be able to offer a comprehensive genetic analysis for all cancer.
About Kimberly Banks, M.S., C.G.C.:
Kimberly Banks, M.S., C.G.C., is the Program Coordinator and a Genetic Counselor at The Cancer Genetics Program in The Center For Cancer Prevention and Treatment at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, California. Kimberly received her master’s degree in Genetic Counseling from California State University, Northridge, and conducted her fellowship at City of Hope National Medical Center. She is board certified by the American Board of Genetic Counseling.
Visit Kimberly Banks at St. Joseph Hospital Cancer Genetics Program: