Genetic Counselor Kimberly Banks explains if every woman should undergo genetic cancer risk assessment.
Genetic Counselor Kimberly Banks:
Genetic cancer risk assessment is not going to be appropriate for everybody. There are certain red flags that are put out there, In general, if you have a personal history or family history of cancer at a younger than expected age. So for a breast cancer, that would be under age 50; for colon cancer, under age 50, and for other cancers we see a younger age and so it’s not necessary just young age, but younger than expected.
And then if you have certain patterns of cancer in your family, so breast and ovarian cancer, colon and uterine cancer, melanoma and pancreatic cancer, so certain patterns, or if you have multiple family members with the same type of cancer. So breast cancer in aunt, mom, grandma--something like that.
If you have multiple primaries, someone who has had bilateral breast cancer, breast and ovarian cancer, so those types of things that kind of get you out of the realm of the average person. So you are young, you have a striking family history, you have had more than one cancer, those types of things that make us think, is there something else going on here that’s causing this.
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: