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Maine Medical Center Cancer Institute

Genetic Testing

Does cancer run in my family?

We're often asked this question. The answer is that about 10% of all cancers in adults are related to inherited factors.

Hereditary cancers often appear to cluster in certain patterns within a family. For instance, breast cancer may be related to  ovarian, prostate, and pancreatic cancer. Colon cancer may be related to cancers of the uterus, ovaries, stomach, gallbladder, ureter, or small intestine.

If you have had cancer or there is cancer in your family, you may benefit from more information about your risk. Your answers to the questions below may help you decide.

  • Has anyone in your family, including you, had cancer before the age of 50?
  • Have three or more close relatives been diagnosed with cancer?
  • Has anyone in your family, including you, had two different cancers that began in two separate organs?

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you may want to explore your risk of hereditary cancer. You should first seek advice from your doctor. The Cancer Risk and Prevention Program at Maine Medical Center is availavble to assist both of you. We can review your family history and provide you with information on your risk and ways to manage it.

The Cancer Risk and Prevention Clinic provides cancer genetic risk assessment and counseling. These services are available with a physician referral.

You or your physician may contact us at: 1-844-504-9680

Patient and Family Services at the Maine Medical Center Cancer Institute
Prostate Cancer Program at Maine Medical Center Cancer Institute

Maine Medical Center | 22 Bramhall Street | Portland, Maine 04102-3175 | (207) 662-0111