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Know Your Risk

Research clearly shows a link between certain genes and cancer risks, including breast, colorectal, endometrial (uterine), melanoma, ovarian, pancreatic, prostate and thyroid cancers. The link is often strongest in families where:

  • Cancer is diagnosed before age 50.
  • Cancer shows up in more than one generation.
  • Individual family members have bilateral cancer (cancer in both the left and right breasts).
  • Cancer occurs in the less commonly affected gender (male breast cancer).
  • Several rare cancers (ovarian, pancreatic, sarcoma) occur in a family.

Personal Cancer Risk Assessment

A personal cancer risk assessment begins with a detailed personal and family medical history. Our licensed counselors have years of expertise to help you:

  • Determine if you have an increased risk for a particular cancer.
  • Help you understand what it means to be at risk for a hereditary cancer (breastcolorectalovarian)
  • Discuss the benefits, risks and limitations of genetic testing.
  • Discuss ways you can decrease your risk for developing cancer through lifestyle changes, screening or surgical interventions.
  • Identify available clinical trials or research studies for which you may qualify.
  • Identify and refer you to specialists who can help you with follow-up medical or emotional support.

Ruth Ann Minner High-Risk Family Cancer Registry

Information collected from your personal and family medical history, as well as from genetic testing, helps you make informed treatment decisions based on your own familial risks. When it is studied along with information from thousands of families in our community, it becomes a valuable tool to help translational researchers identify, track and address risk factors in our state.

Patterns highlighted by this information are so important to helping us understand and learn more about cancer that ChristianaCare broadened its own database into a statewide high-risk family cancer registry — the first and still only program in the nation to look at hereditary factors from a community perspective. With information on more than 260,000 individuals and 7,000 families extending back generations, the Ruth Ann Minner High-Risk Family Cancer Registry is a critical resource helping to drive down Delaware’s mortality rate from cancer twice as fast as any other state in the nation.

Three generation family having a good time on beach at dusk.

If you are currently have cancer or at some point were diagnosed with cancer — or if genetic testing indicates that you are at high risk for developing cancer in the future — you are eligible to participate in this important cancer registry. ChristianaCare’s licensed genetic counseling experts will document your family’s cancer risk and offer information about diagnostic screening and referrals for medical or emotional support to manage those risks.

The Ruth Ann Minner High-Risk Family Cancer Registry provides valuable information to help scientists develop new research studies for cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

Knowing your personal risk based on your family health history may help you and your doctor prevent cancer or detect it early when it is most treatable.

Contact Us

Make an appointment today to complete your personal cancer risk assessment with a licensed genetic counselor, and to learn more about how you can be part of Delaware’s high-risk family cancer registry. Call 302-623-4593, option 1, or toll-free at 1-800-811-8116.

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