UA Cancer Center offers team approach to people genetically at high risk for cancer

Actress and human rights advocate Angelina Jolie revealed in Tuesday’s New York Times that she underwent prophylactic mastectomy after finding that she is a carrier of an alteration in the BRCA1 gene.

After evaluating her risk management options, she chose to address her increased risk of breast cancer surgically with preventive bilateral mastectomy. One of the primary clues for identifying genetic changes that increase a person’s cancer risk is a family history of cancer, particularly cancers at early ages.

For people who have a strong family history of cancer, our multi-specialty team at the University of Arizona Cancer Center can assess cancer risk, determine if genetic testing is appropriate, interpret testing results, and counsel regarding the options for cancer risk management. The UACC is the only cancer care facility in Tucson with certified genetic counselors.

The UACC is the only institution in Arizona to provide a full array of medical specialists to assess and treat risk as well as breast and ovarian cancer, medically and surgically. As part of our high-risk cancer genetics program, we have surgeons who specialize in nipple sparing mastectomies, a wide variety of immediate reconstruction techniques and minimally invasive gynecologic surgeries. Also part of our team are social workers and psychiatrists to address anxiety and grief related to diagnosis of BRCA mutation.

To find out more, visit our web page or call (520) 694-0800. Read more about prophylactic mastectomy.

May 14, 2013