CancerCare Social Worker Discusses Genetic Testing and Inherited Risks of Cancer

CancerCare oncology social worker Charlotte Ference, LMSW, was recently published in Oncology Nursing News. Her article, "Genetic Testing and Inherited Increased Risk of Cancer," discusses the ways we can screen for inherited cancer risks and the impact such discoveries might have across families. Caregivers, for example, may have fears about their own future diagnoses once they realize they share the same traits.

"The American Cancer Society estimates that 5%-10% of cancers are connected with mutations in the DNA that are inherited through generations. For millions of patients in the United States, genetic testing allows for a deeper understanding of one's risks, prompting more comprehensive screening and services in an effort to prevent the onset of a disease or detect cancer at an earlier stage. Despite heightened awareness of the BRCA gene, breast cancer is far from the only cancer associated with inherited risks. Melanoma, pancreatic, prostate, colon, ovarian, stomach, and brain cancers may be associated with family cancer syndromes caused by inherited genetic mutations."

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