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Frequently Asked Questions

What does “average risk” mean?

Average risk means that, based on your personal and family history, you are not more likely to have hereditary factors for cancer or heart disease than other people. You should continue to see your doctor for annual check-ups, get your screenings regularly and follow health recommendations.

What does “elevated risk” mean?

Being at an elevated risk means you are more likely than other people to develop cancer and/or heart disease in your lifetime due to genetic factors. Your family members may also be at an elevated risk. Earlier and more frequent screening may be necessary, and you should talk to your doctor about referral for genetic counseling and testing.

What is genetic counseling?

Genetic counselors are genetic experts that help determine hereditary risk for you and your loved ones. There are both telehealth and in-person options available to speak with a genetic counselor.

Our genetic counselors are an important part of our multidisciplinary team. They work with each patient to develop a personalized assessment based on his or her unique family history and genetic background. They help patients understand the role genes play in causing disease and what you can do to lower your risk.

The genetic counseling program at the OSUCCC – James provides leading-edge risk assessment in a caring, supportive environment of world-class medical expertise, education and translational research.

You can also find a genetic counselor in your area through the National Society of Genetic Counselors.

How do we calculate your risk?

The Family Health Risk Calculator uses established national criteria and expert statements based on disease types, family history patterns and ages at diagnosis to calculate your level of risk, and for referral for genetic counseling and testing.

Are you at an elevated risk for hereditary cancer or heart disease?