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Jessica Rispoli Joines
Genes can play a role in how tall you are, the color of your eyes or whether your hair is curly or straight. But genes also can play a role in your risk of developing cancer and other diseases. Jessica Rispoli Joines, a genetic counselor at the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center, explains how genetic testing can help identify whether a person has an increased risk of developing certain types of cancer. For example, women with the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes have a greater risk of getting breast cancer and ovarian cancer. But Joines also notes that most cancers are not linked to specific inherited genes.
In an interview with Karen Warmkessel, Joines stresses that it is important to receive counseling along with genetic testing to look at your options. Is there anything you can do to prevent getting cancer, even if you have a susceptibility gene? For some people, learning about their genes and cancer risk can lead them to make more-informed choices, Joines says.
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