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Please note: This article is part of the Cancer Center's News Archive and is here for historical purposes. The information and links may no longer be up-to-date.

Michigan Oncology Journal Spring 2000

University of Michigan Cancer Genetics Clinic

Led by Stephen Gruber, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine and Epidemiology, the Cancer Genetics Clinic at the University of Michigan is a service for people who are concerned about their own risk or other family member's risk of cancer. Although most cancers are not "inherited," some families are particularly susceptible to cancer. These families may benefit from early detection or other strategies to lower risk. The specialists of the Cancer Genetics Clinic help patients and their families understand genetic contributions to cancer and develop personalized plans to manage their risk.

For some families, genetic testing can be a helpful tool and may identify those family members who are at greatest risk for developing cancer. When appropriate, this genetic testing may be coordinated through the Cancer Genetics Clinic and management recommendations can be formulated on the basis of test results. For other families, comprehensive risk assessment and genetic counseling provide enough information to develop a plan for lowering the risk of cancer without testing.

The Cancer Genetics Clinic, in conjunction with the Breast and Ovarian Cancer Risk Evaluation Program, provides counseling for all types of cancer, including familial breast cancer, ovarian cancer, cancer of the uterus, prostate cancer, melanoma, thyroid cancer, sarcoma, childhood cancers, and other less common tumors.

In addition, clinicians with the Cancer Genetics Clinic have a special expertise in providing counseling for hereditary forms of colorectal cancer, including Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP) and Hereditary Nonpolyposis Colorectal Cancer (HNPCC). FAP is a rare condition in which individuals develop 100-1000's of polyps in the colon and, without treatment, face a 100% risk of developing colon cancer. Families with HNPCC are often recognized by the presence of multiple members with colon cancer and other cancers known to be associated with this condition, including uterine, small intestine, ovarian, stomach, and bile duct cancers. Screening and management recommendations for these and other cases of familial colon cancer can be provided.

Appointments are generally 1 1/2 hour consultations that include an overview of cancer genetics, a history and physical examination to look for signs and symptoms of familial cancer, and individualized counseling regarding strategies of how to lower the risk of cancer. Patients are asked to complete (and return) a personal and family history questionnaire prior to their appointment so that the physicians and genetic counselors are informed about the issues important to the family before the visit.

Cancer AnswerLine™ 800-865-1125 for more information.


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Please note: The articles listed in the Cancer Center's News Archive are here for historical purposes. The information and links may no longer be up-to-date.
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