To schedule an appointment:
Have your provider send a referral for genetic counseling to the Shaw Cancer Center.
This helps us keep your doctor in the loop about your care moving forward.
- The referral should include the reason for the referral, a copy of your contact information, and a copy of your most recent health insurance card.
- Fax it to (970) 470-6675 or email it to ShawPatientReferrals@VailHealth.org.
Genetic Testing and Hereditary Cancer Services
If you have a family history of cancer, your chances of getting some types of cancer may be higher than that of the average person. Shaw Cancer Center's hereditary cancer services evaluate patients' risks and provide guidance for reducing those risks.
We know that genetic factors, in combination with environmental influences, play a role in the development of cancer. Many cancers are random occurrences. However, some people inherit changes in their genes called mutations, which put them at greater risk for developing cancer. This is called hereditary cancer predisposition.
Many types of cancer can have a hereditary basis. Genetic testing is most commonly ordered for family histories of breast, colon, ovarian and uterine cancers, but is also available for other types of cancer, including thyroid, stomach and pancreatic cancers. We are still finding genes linked to cancer. In some cases, testing through a genetic research study is available.
More frequent screening, medications or surgeries can help prevent genetically predisposed cancers or detect them earlier. Early detection leads to a better chance of successful treatment.
Our professionals are specially trained to evaluate personal and family medical histories and help patients understand the genetic testing process and test results. A genetic counseling appointment includes discussion of hereditary cancer syndromes in general, patient-specific risks, risks to family members, and discussion of genetic testing, if applicable.