Epic Care Adds Genetic Cancer Counseling and Testing Program, Expanding Advanced Cancer Care Services in the East Bay!

Epic Care Adds Genetic Cancer Counseling and Testing Program, Expanding Advanced Cancer Care Services in the East Bay!

  • April 16, 2024

Epic Care has expanded its advanced cancer care services by adding a cutting-edge cancer risk assessment program to the practice. The Genetic Counseling and Testing program advances precision care through genetic research and provides cancer prevention opportunities for patients and their family members. With the addition of the program, Epic Care serves as a valuable regional resource for genetic cancer services to patients and the surrounding medical community.

“Genetic testing and consultation, which are key components of the program, can be an important option for people who may have an inherited risk of developing cancer,” said Dr. Sudhathi Chichili, Board Certified Medical Oncologist and Hematologist, and Certified Genomic Cancer Risk Assessment Provider “Understanding the increased risk of developing the disease can help a person make lifestyle choices that may prevent cancer, as well as help them make informed decisions about screenings that can detect the disease early.”

The National Cancer Institute estimates that inherited mutations play a role in about 5 to 10 percent of all cancers. Researchers have identified several specific inherited mutations that can lead to cancer. Foremost among them are mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes which can cause Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer syndrome. Colon, ovarian and endometrial cancers are associated with Hereditary Non-Polyposis Colon Cancer, or Lynch syndrome. Other cancers thought to be caused by inherited gene mutations include kidney cancer, melanoma, brain tumors, prostate, pancreatic, and thyroid cancers.

At Epic Care patients seeking genetic testing are seen by an oncologist who has advanced training and expertise in hereditary cancers and genetic counseling. This highly-skilled specialist expertly evaluates family history, interprets test results, and provides guidance to patients about cancer detection and prevention.

The process starts with an in-depth consultation to gather family history and provide patient education. Appropriate genetic testing is ordered after a thorough risk assessment using a variety of techniques. Once test results are available, clinicians discuss the findings and address personal concerns. Patients who test positive for a gene mutation are presented with options for a proactive, individualized care plan that could include surveillance, chemotherapy, or preventative surgery. Patients who do not test positive receive counseling for risk management and further testing strategies, if appropriate. The impact of genetic testing results on family members is also discussed.

“Genetic counseling and testing should be viewed as an essential component of quality cancer care,” said Dr. Chichili “As experts in oncology, it gives us the opportunity to save lives and reduce the risk of cancer for our patients and possibly even their family. It can also help us detect cancer earlier, which increases the chance for a successful outcome. We are excited to add the genetic counseling and testing program to our practice as part of our continuing commitment to provide the most advanced, comprehensive care possible,” she concluded.

Currently genetic testing can detect certain gene mutations for breast, ovarian, colon, endometrial, as well as several other types of cancer.

For more information about Epic Care’s Genetic Counseling and Testing program, click here, or contact us at (925) 255-1066.

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