Research shows certain risk factors can increase the chances of developing cancer. Some of these factors, such as tobacco use, can be controlled. Others, like age and family history, are beyond our control, so F.F. Thompson Hospital is now offering cancer genetic testing to empower patients in minimizing risk.

Offered to both women and men at the Dr. Laurie Sands and Constellation Brands Breast Imaging Center, 195 Parrish St. in Canandaigua, this test assesses a person for multiple genetic mutations associated with increased risk for eight different cancers:

  • Breast
  • Ovarian
  • Endometrial/Uterine
  • Prostate
  • Melanoma
  • Pancreatic
  • Colon
  • Gastric

A specially trained health care professional collects a saliva sample, which is shipped to a laboratory specializing in genetic test analysis. Results are delivered to the Breast Imaging Center, where the staff schedules an appointment to discuss the results with the patient.

“We’re very pleased to now offer this service to our community because we know people previously had to travel to Rochester for this testing,” says Thompson Health Director of Diagnostic Imaging Wendy Mulholland. “In many cases, the results can help individuals and their physicians make more informed decisions, so it’s very important to us to make this more convenient for those who may benefit from increased surveillance as well as possibly risk-reducing medications or surgery.”

Those who answer “yes” to any of the following may wish to consider the testing:

  • Have you or your family members:
    • Been diagnosed with more than one cancer or have there been multiple cancers on the same side of the family?
    • Been diagnosed with cancer at a young age (50 or younger)?
    • Been diagnosed with a rare cancer such as ovarian or male breast cancer?
  • Are you of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry?

Patients do not need an order from their doctor for the screening, Mulholland says, and instead can simply call (585) 396-6651 to make an appointment.

Other services available at the Breast Imaging Center include 3D tomosynthesis technology for all mammography patients; same-day testing and results, upon request; and private access to screening and diagnostic mammography, breast ultrasound, biopsies, drainage and needle localization procedures, and bone density testing. In addition, breast health navigation nurses provide immediate access to a variety of support services following a diagnosis of breast cancer.

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This article was originally published by Community Health for WellnessHUB Wire.