The Cancer Risk Management Clinic (CRMC) at Baptist Health Lexington provides risk evaluation, counseling, education and specialized services for individuals at increased risk for cancer. An increased risk may be due to a family history of cancer or a genetic condition such as Lynch Syndrome, BRCA1, or BRCA2.
Meeting with a Genetic Counselor is the first step in determining if the CRMC is appropriate for you. A genetic counselor will evaluate your personal and family health history in order to develop a personalized cancer risk assessment. If you are found to be at an increased risk, you will be referred to the CRMC.
The Cancer Risk Management Clinic is staffed by our multidisciplinary team including genetic counselors, physicians, and advanced practice nurses. Our staff works together to provide:
- A plan for cancer screening procedures and tests based on risk assessment
- Oversight of cancer screening procedure scheduling to ensure recommended screening is scheduled for that year
- Information to primary care physicians and referring physicians regarding specific recommendations based on risk assessment
- Individualized education
- Clinical breast examinations if indicated. Clinical breast exams are provided by an advanced practice nurse who has completed special training in this procedure and in breast cancer prevention and early detection
- Nutrition, wellness and cancer prevention education and resources
- Chemoprevention prescription and counseling
When Should I Visit a Cancer Risk Management Clinic?
It is important to be proactive about your physical health. If you believe that you are at a higher risk for cancer, it may be a good idea for you to consider visiting a cancer risk management clinic (CRMC). There are several factors and conditions that may put you at a greater risk for developing cancer. At a CRMC, you will be screened and assessed for those things. Some of the risk factors that make you a good candidate for scheduling an appointment would be having a family history of cancer, having certain medical or genetic conditions, and making certain lifestyle choices. More specifically, visiting a CRMC may be pertinent if the following things apply:
- You have more than one blood relative with the same type of cancer
- Someone in your family has more than one type of cancer
- A male member of your family has had breast cancer
- You are related to someone who has an inherited mutation that has been known to cause cancer.
- If you suffer from inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease), risk of colorectal cancer increases
- Recent studies have shown a correlation between psoriasis and an increased risk in developing cancer
If you meet any of the criteria mentioned above, talk with your primary care physician and discuss scheduling an appointment to visit the CRMC.
What are the Top Risk Factors for Cancer?
While healthcare professionals have a general understanding of what may increase the risk of developing cancer, the majority of cases are actually not connected to patients with known risk factors. Some of the general risk factors include:
- Age. Although cancer tends to appear more in people over the age of 65, people of all ages can be diagnosed. Older populations tend to be diagnosed more often because cancer can take decades to develop.
- Lifestyle. Lifestyle choices and unhealthy habits can impact risk. Smoking, drinking more than 1 drink a day as a female or 2 drinks a day as a male, obesity, excessive exposure to the sun, or having unsafe sex can all increase the risk of cancer.
- Family history. Contrary to what some may think, only a small percentage of cancer diagnoses are due to an inherited condition. Furthermore, people who have inherited a genetic mutation do not always go on to develop cancer. If cancer is prevalent in your family, genetic testing may be a proactive and helpful option to screen for inherited mutations.
- Health conditions. Certain health conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease) or psoriasis may increase the risk of cancer.
- Your environment. Chemicals or toxins in your home or workplace may increase the risk of cancer. More specifically, inhaling second-hand smoke, or coming in contact with asbestos or benzene can all increase the risk of cancer.
How Do You Prevent Cancer if it Runs in the Family?
If cancer runs in your family and you are concerned about being at a greater risk of developing cancer, there are several proactive options available to you. Talking to your primary care physician is the first step, and these discussions may lead you to scheduling an appointment with a genetic counselor. A genetic counselor will be able to provide you with cancer prevention resources and help you create a plan for a cancer screening. More specifically, research has identified several ways to decrease your risk for developing cancer, which includes:
- Quitting smoking
- Avoiding excessive sun exposure
- Regular exercise
- A healthy diet
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Alcohol consumption in moderation
- Scheduling regular cancer screenings
- Talking with a doctor about immunizations
For more information on the Cancer Risk Management Clinic, please call 859.260.4419.
1700 Nicholasville Rd
Lexington KY 40503
Genetic Counseling Program
1740 Nicholasville Rd.
Lexington, KY 40503
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Genetic Counseling Program
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