Genomics is the study of genetic (hereditary) factors behind diseases. The Cancer Genomics Program receives CDC grant funding to increase the use of family health history, genetic counseling, testing, and risk management services for BRCA 1/2 and Lynch Syndrome mutations.
These mutations can greatly increase a person’s risk of breast, ovarian, colorectal or uterine cancers.
BRCA1 and BRCA2 are genes that protect a person from getting certain cancers. Women who have a mutation (change) in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene are more likely to get breast and/or ovarian cancer.
Even men who have a mutation are at risk for prostate cancer and breast cancer. Both men and women are also at risk for pancreatic cancer and melanoma.
BRCA 1/2 mutations are more likely to be present in families with a strong history of breast and/or ovarian cancer. Knowing if a person has a BRCA 1/2 mutation can help them to make choices that can reduce their risk of cancer.
Hereditary colorectal (colon) cancer and Lynch Syndrome
People with Lynch Syndrome are much more likely to develop colorectal cancer, a type of uterine cancer called endometrial cancer, and other cancers. Blood relatives such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews are also at a risk of having Lynch Syndrome.
Lynch Syndrome is more likely in families where people have colon cancer before age 50 or women who have uterine cancer. The only way to know if someone has Lynch syndrome is through genetic testing. Knowing if someone has Lynch Syndrome can help them make choices that can reduce their chances of developing colorectal cancer.