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A cancer patient and her oncologist discuss the next steps in her treatment plan.

Genetic testing to determine cancer risk

St. Joseph Health participates in a genetic testing program through our partnership with Baylor College of Medicine. This precise medicine provides patients with the option of a treatment plan that is tailored specifically to their individual needs. With genetic testing, we are able to personalize treatment for each patient.

Genetic testing is a type of medical test that identifies changes in chromosomes, genes, or proteins. The results of a genetic test can confirm or rule out a suspected genetic condition or help determine a person’s chance of developing or passing on a genetic disorder. More than 1,000 genetic tests are currently in use, and more are being developed. A genetic counselor can provide information about the pros and cons of the test and discuss the social and emotional aspects of testing.

The genetic testing process starts with your primary care physician, who performs a simple screening. From there, you are connected to our nurse navigator, who works with you in depth to learn more about your family history. Our genetic counselors will discuss with you what specific cancers you may be at risk for and how to lower those risks. For more information about genetic testing at St. Joseph Health, call (979) 774-0808.

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