How important is my family health history anyway?

My sister was just diagnosed with breast cancer. Does that mean I am at higher risk?

I exercise regularly and eat well, but my father had a heart attack in his 60s. Am I destined to have one, too?

We’re ready to start our family. What testing should we consider?

Genetic Consultation and Risk Assessment at Christiana Care

We can’t change our family health history or our genetic makeup, but in health care, knowledge is power. When you know what your DNA says about how likely you are to develop a certain disease — and when you learn how to reduce your risks with healthy lifestyle choices — you and your doctor have the information you need to make the best decisions for your personalized health. And when the diagnosis is not what you had hoped for, genetic testing results may help your care team tailor your treatment plan.

Genetic consultation and genetic testing are so important. In just a few easy but thorough steps — a personal and family health history questionnaire, a simple blood or saliva test and a follow-up consultation — Christiana Care’s genetic counseling experts can help you understand your personal risk and make informed treatment decisions for cancer, cardiovascular disease, neurogenetic diseases and prenatal testing.

Genetic consultation and testing provides valuable information about:

  • Your genetic makeup — what’s written in your DNA
  • Your family health history
  • Your lifestyle choices — how things like diet, exercise and quitting smoking can help reduce your risks for certain diseases
  • Environmental factors