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Getting a cancer diagnosis can feel devastating. What makes this disease so difficult to grapple with is the lack of control we have over its onset. While there are certain lifestyle factors that affect our predisposition to this disease, issues like hereditary cancer syndrome can make us genetically predisposed to developing it. If you have a family history of breast, uterine, ovarian, or colon cancer, in particular, we urge you to get in touch with us at Horizons Health & Wellness. Our dedicated team can provide you with screening services to determine if you are at a higher risk of developing cancer due to hereditary factors.


Serious-looking woman with hereditary cancer syndrome

What Causes Hereditary Cancer Syndrome?

Hereditary cancer syndrome is caused by mutations in genes passed from parents to their children. Some of the most common types of hereditary cancer include Lynch syndrome and Hereditary Breast & Ovarian Cancer Syndrome. Lynch syndrome is characterized by the early onset of colorectal cancer and uterine (endometrial) cancer. HBOC is caused by mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes that make one predisposed to developing breast and ovarian cancer. There are many other less common hereditary cancer syndromes.

How Are Hereditary Cancer Syndromes Diagnosed?

The first step in determining if you could be at risk for hereditary cancer syndrome is a detailed interview regarding your family history. Many people have a family history of cancer, however, the overwhelming majority of individuals with cancer do not have an underlying hereditary cause for their cancer. The providers at Horizons Health and Wellness are trained to identify risk factors in your family history that would suggest a higher likelihood of having a genetic predisposition to cancer. In such cases, we can order blood and/or saliva tests to determine if you have inherited a gene that could substantially increase your risk of cancer. If a potentially dangerous gene is identified, we would arrange for aggressive and frequent testing to identify any early cancer growths. In the case of hereditary cancer, taking preventative measures and getting screened are essential for long-term health. Explore your family history and gauge your risk of cancer by completing the survey below:

Hereditary Cancer Survey

What Are the Symptoms of Hereditary Cancer?

There are no specific symptoms related to carrying genes that increase the risk of cancer. Thus relying on symptoms to identify people at risk is an ineffective strategy. Testing people who are seemingly at high risk based on family history is most effective. Once those individuals are identified, additional testing and screening can be done more frequently than normal to identify cancers at their earliest and most curable stages. Symptoms of cancer vary widely depending on the specific cancer type. However, tumorous growths are the most commonly observed sign of cancer. In many cases, the early signs of cancer can seem relatively innocuous. For example, women who are within the early stages of ovarian cancer can experience bloating, cramping, and abdominal swelling. These symptoms are often overlooked since fluctuating hormones and simple digestive irritation can cause them as well. When it comes to hereditary cancer syndrome, diligence is essential and can help us catch the disease before serious complications arise.

Treatments for Hereditary Cancer Syndrome

At Horizons Health & Wellness, we do everything possible to help our patients maintain their health. Along with lifestyle and nutritional guidance for healthy living, we also offer cancer screening services and procedures to help detect cancer at its earliest and most curable stages. We are fortunate to be located in the Boston suburbs. If we diagnose cancer, we will refer you promptly to a world-class treatment center. If you think you may be at risk for cancer, we welcome you to get in touch and explore our diagnostic options.

Addressing Hereditary Cancer Syndrome in Bridgewater, MA

Take control over your health with help from our team at Horizons Health & Wellness. If you believe you may be struggling with cancer symptoms, request your consultation for a cancer screening today. Get started by filling out the form below or giving our office a call at (508) 807-0634.