Carle Health partners with Illinois Wesleyan University on its student health services
Many people have heard about genetics in crime scene investigations or paternity testing, the news, or shows on television. When we think about genetics, we are talking about DNA, which the instruction book for our body. Just like a book, DNA can be broken down into chapters, sentences and letters. Genes are the sentences of DNA. There are more than 20,000 genes in our DNA.
We all have differences in our DNA and our genes: this is why some people have brown hair or blond hair, blue eyes or brown eyes. These changes are what make us unique. Some of these DNA changes are passed down from parents to children for many generations.
Some genes tell our bodies how to prevent cancer from developing. If there is a change in one of the cancer genes, someone may have an increased chance of developing cancer. These changes in cancer genes can occur due to lifestyle (tobacco use, poor diet, etc.), mistakes that occur naturally as we grow, or they can be passed down by families.
What Is Genetic Counseling?
Genetic counseling is the process of helping people understand and adapt to the medical concerns in their family. Carle genetic counselors help people make informed decisions about their health and genetic information.
Christina Laukaitis, MD, PhD, FACP, FACMGG
Genetics, Brain Tumor Program, Clinical Investigator
With doctors practicing in 80 specialties at locations throughout the region, it’s easy to find the right healthcare team at Carle. Our mission is to serve people through high quality care, medical research and education.