Cancer Genetics and Genetic Counseling

Approximately 10% of all cancers are hereditary, meaning that specific mutations (changes) in genes are passed on between relatives. If you are born with (inherit) an abnormal gene(s) you are at a higher risk for developing cancer during your lifetime. There is also the potential for passing on these gene changes to your offspring. Genetic counseling (and testing when indicated) can help you understand this risk.

Our goal is to empower you and your family to make personalized, well-informed healthcare decisions based on your individualized genetic risk assessment. Your decisions can lead to better cancer treatments, earlier cancer detection and prevention. Knowing your risk can change your future.

Who May Benefit from Genetic Counseling

  • If you have a personal history of cancer and want to learn if its genetic. (though not everyone with cancer needs testing). Typically, we recommend genetic counseling for
    • Younger patients (<50 years of age)
    • Those diagnosed with more than one cancer
    • Rare cancers
    • Those with a family history of the same or related type of cancer
  • You are cancer-free, but do to to family history or other medical conditions you may be at increased risk for developing cancer. This may include
    • Two or more close family members with the same type of cancer
    • The same type of cancer diagnosed in multiple family generations
    • Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry and family history of breast or ovarian cancer
    • Multiple polyps of the colon
Family Tree

 What to Expect at Your Visit

  • Detailed medical and family history and creation of a medical family tree
  • Cancer or disease risk assessment based on history, physical exam, and evidence-based risk models
  • Genetic testing discussion
  • Cancer screening and prevention recommendations

Insurance Coverage:

Health insurance typically covers consultation appointments and is independent of any genetic testing costs or authorizations. Most Insurance companies also cover the cost of genetic testing for people considered at high risk for disease. If you are uninsured, other means for assistance may be available.