Clinical Genetics Assessment

Approximately 5 percent to 10 percent of all cancers occur as a result of hereditary factors that are passed on in families. This statistic should be reassuring: Although many people have relatives who had colon or breast cancer – types of cancer that are common in the population – the majority should not be concerned they are particularly susceptible to these cancers simply because a family member had them.

Hereditary cancer typically results from an abnormal alteration in a single gene that may then be passed on in a family. People with this altered gene have a significantly higher chance of developing the cancer.

The goal of the Hereditary Cancer Program at the Siteman Cancer Center is to help people who have a family history of cancer assess their cancer risk. The program’s medical geneticist and three genetic counselors and geneticist see more than 150 families each year, many of whom are referred by their own physicians.

For more information about hereditary cancer and Siteman’s hereditary cancer program, click on the links below. To make an appointment, call 314-454-6093.