Many people believe if cancer runs in the family then chances of inheriting a specific type of cancer is very high. Research proves otherwise- only 5 to 10 percent of cancer cases are genetically inherited. Genetic testing is the biological evaluation of a person’s risk of getting an inherited disease. A genetic counsellor will then evaluate a person’s risk and recommend options including lifestyle changes that will reduce their risk as much as possible. With the proper lifestyle changes, a person’s risk of getting an inherited cancer comes down dramatically. As every individual has a unique DNA, the counselling and advice given to every individual will be different.
Epigenetics is a field which attempts to understand parts of a person’s genome that will be activated or deactivated with the appropriate lifestyle changes. Research has shown that depending on a person’s lifestyle, certain genes will either turn ‘on’ or ‘off’. Having a healthy lifestyle with a good diet and adequate exercise minimizes your chance of getting an inherited cancer to a substantial degree. The CARER program contains a session with a trained genetic counsellor to help patients understand and minimize their risk of getting an inherited cancer.