Cancer Genetics

As many as 5 percent to 10 percent of all cancers may be linked to an inherited risk, and approximately 30 percent of cancer cases occur in families with close relatives who have experienced similar cancers.

Cancer genetics: picture of father and son
Hereditary cancer is the development of cancer due to an inherited gene mutation that has been passed from parent to child upon conception.

At Simmons Cancer Center, families have an ally in the science of cancer risk assessment and counseling. Experts in the field of cancer genetics can help you identify your risk of developing cancer and help you understand the options available to help you manage your health.

An inherited risk for cancer is higher when:

  • Cancer is diagnosed at an unusually young age.
  • The same type of cancer occurs in multiple close relatives.
  • You or a family member are of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry (Eastern or Central European descent) and have either breast or ovarian cancer.
  • You or a family member have a rare cancer/tumor, such as a sarcoma, male breast cancer, medullary thyroid cancer, or a pheochromocytoma.
  • You have a family history with a combination of breast and ovarian cancers, or colon and uterine cancers.
  • You have more than 20 colon polyps.
  • You or a family member have had multiple different kinds of cancer.

Our Cancer Genetics Research

Research performed at UT Southwestern has revolutionized the technique of assessing genetic risk for cancer.

Our team of board-certified genetic counselors work with scientists and oncologists across the institution to research cancer prevention and therapies, and to give patients access to promising treatments through clinical trials.

Our Cancer Genetics Program is the only research-based clinical program in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to offer testing and counseling for all identified types of cancer.

A few of the conditions with a hereditary link include breast cancer, Cowden syndrome, and Lynch syndrome. We test for all of these and more.

Request an Appointment

For an appointment at our facility in Dallas or for more information about our cancer genetics services, request an appointment or call 214-645-8300.