Below are local resources for children and families affected by genetic conditions.
The Hawaii State Genetics Program also has a comprehensive listing of links related to genetics.
Genetics & Cancer
What is hereditary cancer?
Most individuals have at least one family member who has been diagnosed with cancer. This is not unusual since about one in three individuals will develop cancer in their lifetime.
Hereditary cancers account for about 5-10% of all cancers. A hereditary cancer is one that "runs in families" and may be passed on from parents to children.
Cancer is more likely to be hereditary if:
- You have a personal history of cancer
- Two or more blood relatives have the same type of cancer
- Cancer was diagnosed when the blood relative was 50 years of age or younger
- A blood relative has a rare cancer, like male breast cancer
- Cancer develops in both breasts, both ovaries, both kidneys, both eyes, etc.
- A single blood relative has had cancer more than once
What can a person do about being at risk for hereditary cancer?
The goal of identifying individuals at risk for hereditary cancer is early cancer detection and prevention. Kapiolani's Cancer Risk Assessment Program assesses an individual's risk through genetic counseling. During a genetic counseling session you can expect to review a detailed history of your personal medical and family history.
Are you at risk for cancer?
If you answer "YES" to any of the questions below, you may want additional information. To discuss your history or to schedule an appointment, please contact us.
- Have you been diagnosed with breast cancer prior to age 50?
- Have you been diagnosed with ovarian cancer at any age?
- Have you been diagnosed with colon cancer prior to age 50?
- Have you been diagnosed with endometrial cancer prior to age 50?
- Have you been diagnosed with melanoma?
- Was your mother or sister diagnosed with breast cancer prior to age 50 or with ovarian cancer at any age?
- Do you (both sides of family) have cousins, aunts, uncles, or other close relatives with breast, ovarian, colon, or skin cancer?
- Are you of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry?
Facts about Hereditary Cancers
- 10% of all cancers are inherited
- 7-10% of breast cancer is inherited
- 10% of colon cancer is inherited
- 84% of inherited breast and ovarian cancer is due to BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes
- Breast cancer in a male is a high-risk factor
- Age of onset of cancer is more significant than the number of individuals with cancer
- 50% of cancer is inherited through a father
- Recurrence risks and treatment options may vary depending on the results of a genetic test