Cancer Genetics Counseling Program

Having a close relative with breast, ovarian, colon, endometrial, or other cancers may increase one’s personal risk for developing these types of cancers. The ColumbiaDoctors Cancer Genetic Counseling Program provides accurate cancer risk information and genetic counseling to individuals with a family or personal history of cancer.

We offer individuals genetic counseling, risk assessment, and appropriate genetic testing for hereditary cancer syndromes such as Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Syndrome, hereditary colon cancer, or other cancer susceptibility genes.

We tailor information to the individual concerns of each patient, based on the medical and family history. We work closely with you to provide family-based care, multiple management options for medical follow-up and psychological support through the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Who should consider cancer genetic counseling?

Genetic Counseling is appropriate for anyone who has a personal and/ or family history of breast, ovarian, colon cancer, uterine, pancreas, or other cancers. It is especially important if you have:

  • Breast cancer diagnosed before the age of 50
  • Colon or uterine cancer diagnosed before the age of 50
  • Ovarian cancer at any age
  • Two primary breast cancers or colon cancers
  • Two different cancers
  • Close relatives with breast cancer at a younger age and/ or ovarian or pancreatic cancer at any age
  • Close relatives with colon and/or endometrial (uterine) cancer before the age of 50
  • Multiple close relatives with the same type of cancer
  • A close male relative with breast cancer
  • Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry
  • If you had genetic testing in the past with normal results, you may want to come back. New genetic testing options are now available.

Genetic Counseling and Testing

Genetic Counseling involves the evaluation of your family history to help assess what role genetic factors may play in your risk for cancer.

  • We provide an individualized assessment of personal cancer risk, including evaluation of known risk factors and your medical history. We discuss your individual concerns related to cancer risk.
  • Current information on the familial patterns of cancer and the genes that play a role in cancer susceptibility will be discussed as well as the benefits, risks, and limitations of genetic testing.
  • Genetic testing can be elected to detect cancer susceptibility genes that increase the risk of certain types of cancer. Most genetic tests require a blood sample.
  • Participants will also learn about screening guidelines and prevention options which can aid in the formation of a personalized management program.

New Testing Options

For individuals who have already had genetic testing, updates may be available. For example, clinical tests are available looking at panels of multiple genes that are associated with increased breast, ovarian, colon, renal, pancreatic, or other cancers.

Insurance coverage for updated BRCA testing or another gene panel testing is variable. Our genetic counselors are available to determine if any additional testing is recommended and what the insurance coverage would be.