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Cancer and Family History: Using Genomics for Prevention

Tuesday, April 19, 2016 at 1 pm EDT

Two women smiling

The risk factors for cancer are many and varied, and inherited genetic mutations play a major role in 5 to 10% of all cancers. When these mutations are identified early, patients are able to work with their healthcare providers to take crucial steps toward care and treatment. Many of those affected by genetic cancer syndromes don’t know that genetic testing is an option. Both patients and healthcare providers need the resources and education to know when genetic testing is necessary, based on family history and other risk factors.

Cancer genomics programs, including those at CDC, in state and local health departments, and in national organizations, are working together to conduct surveillance and educate the public and healthcare providers about diagnosis and treatment of hereditary cancer syndromes. These programs also aim to assess and reduce barriers to care, ensuring that all those who should receive genetic counseling and testing have access to the appropriate providers.

In this session of Public Health Grand Rounds, you will hear how public health agencies and organizations are evolving in the face of the rapidly growing field of genomics. You will also hear how one woman’s personal experience with a hereditary cancer syndrome led her to become an advocate for patient and provider education.


In this session of Beyond the Data, Dr. John Iskander and Dr. Lisa Richardson discuss how establishing a patient’s family history can help healthcare providers identify genetic mutations that may lead to cancer. Tune in to hear how public health is using education and surveillance to improve identification and treatment of hereditary cancer.

Presented By:

Lisa Richardson, MD, MPH
Division of Cancer Prevention and Control
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, CDC
“Public Health Genomics and Cancer: Family History and Burden”

Debra Duquette, MS, CGC
Genomics Coordinator
Program Manager
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
“A State Health Department Approach to Cancer Genomics Surveillance, Education, and Policy”

Lindsay Avner
Bright Pink
“Raising Awareness about Understanding Family Risk for Cancer”

Muin Khoury, MD, PhD
Office of Public Health Genomics
Division of Public Health Information Dissemination
Center for Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services
Office of Public Health Scientific Services, CDC
“The Role of Genomics in Public Health” 

Facilitated By:

John Iskander, MD, MPH, Scientific Director, Public Health Grand Rounds
Phoebe Thorpe, MD, MPH, Deputy Scientific Director, Public Health Grand Rounds
Susan Laird, MSN, RN,
Communications Director, Public Health Grand Rounds

Additional Resources

Cancer Family History Guide – A tool for providers to help assess a patient’s need for genetic counseling

Order the Cancer Family History Guide Here – Order the above tool from the Michigan Department of Community Health

Continuing Education

This session is available for Continuing Education. Click Cancer and Family History: Using Genomics for Prevention for more information.

  • Page last reviewed: April 8, 2016
  • Page last updated: April 11, 2016
  • Content source: