The specialists in the Gynecologic Cancer Program at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin help women identify and act on risk factors for gynecologic cancer. Certain genetic mutations, particularly mutations of the BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 genes (commonly known as “breast cancer genes”) can increase a woman’s risk of ovarian cancer.
If a woman has a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, she should bring it to the attention of her physician, who may recommend additional screening or prophylactic removal of the ovaries to prevent cancer. Endometrial (Uterine) cancer may be related to colorectal cancer, so a family history of gastrointestinal cancers requires further investigation as well.
Women with a family history of uterine and colon cancer may wish to meet with a genetic counselor to be screened for Lynch Syndrome. Sometimes, testing can be done in Pathology with a tissue sample to see if a woman is at increased risk.
Cancer Genetics Screening Program
The Cancer Genetics Screening Program at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin serves individuals who may be at increased risk of cancer due to a personal history or family history of cancer. Certified genetic counselors assess risk and provide information about genetic testing, cancer genetics, early detection, improved cancer management and possible risk reduction.
Women should also take advantage of screening programs designed to catch gynecologic cancers at an early stage. The PAP test, a screening test for cervical cancer, is perhaps the most effective cancer screening test in history. While there are no proven screening techniques for ovarian cancer, pelvic ultrasound and CA-125 blood tests can be used to screen high-risk women.