Approximately five to ten percent of all cancers are hereditary. Some families share a common gene for cancer that is inherited, passed from generation to generation. People in such families may be at greater risk for developing cancer.
It is important to indentify families who have inherited types of cancer, so that at-risk relatives can be identified and monitored to help ensure that if cancer occurs, it will be detected and treated early.
The Cancer Genetics Program evaluates individuals where multiple members of a family have cancer (of the same or different type). Family history and medical records are reviewed, diagnoses are confirmed, and an assessment is made of each individual’s risk for inherited cancer. Cancer screening and management options are discussed. In some cases, risks for cancer can be determined by using specialized computer programs. Genetic testing may be arranged to help determine more precisely an individual’s risk of developing cancer.
To schedule an evaluation, please call 401-444-8361.
Division of Human Genetics
Rhode Island Hospital
593 Eddy Street
Providence, RI 02903