High Risk Patients

While everyone is at some risk of developing cancer, some people’s risk is above average due to their inherited genetics. About 5-10% of cancers are hereditary. Hereditary, or germline, mutations are changes in DNA that can be passed down from one generation to the next. There are a number of inherited mutations that can predispose a person or family to hereditary cancers such as breast, prostate, colon, pancreas, ovarian, and others. Hoag’s Hereditary Cancer Program provides risk assessment counseling and genetic testing to individuals with a family and personal history of cancer.

Through Hoag’s Precision Medicine Program, patients who are at increased cancer risk based on their genetic makeup may be referred to Hoag’s Hereditary Cancer Program for further evaluation and management or a tailored screening plan designed to detect their cancer at the earliest possible stage or prevent it altogether. Patients with inherited cancer risk may benefit from enrollment in one or more of Hoag Family Cancer Institute’s high risk cancer programs:

Anita Erickson Pancreatic Cancer Early Detection Program

High Risk Breast and Ovarian Cancer Prevention Program

High Risk Melanoma Program

Lung Cancer Screening Program

Weight Management Program for Prostate Cancer Active Surveillance

Some patients who have cancer and have already had their tumor profiled may need additional testing to determine if their cancer was caused by a hereditary mutation. Results of hereditary genetic testing could reveal if they are at an increased risk of cancer recurrence or at risk for developing certain other cancers. Additional testing could also provide doctors with information about genetic changes and mutations in unsuspected genes that could aid them in selecting the most effective treatment.